Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3D Computer Graphics Patents Deemed Invalid Under In re Bilski

Patents "directed to improving 3D computer graphics 'through provision of an improved method for performing visibility calculations'" were invalid under In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (en banc), cert. granted, --- U.S. ---, 129 S.Ct. 2735 (2009) because they failed to claim patentable subject matter. "[Plaintiff] concedes that its patent claims are not transformative, but nevertheless argues that they are tied to a particular machine; to wit, a computer. . . . The claim language clearly states that these claims are drawn to mathematical calculations and algorithms for calculating whether certain surfaces are visible or invisible in 3D computer graphics. This is exemplified by the language of the claims, which specify a sequence of calculations that involve 'identifying,' 'comparing,' 'determining,' and 'ignoring' data. Though the calculations may be 'performed on a computer,' they are not tied to any particular computer. For these reasons, the claims of the [patents-in-suit] fail to pass muster under the Bilski machine implementation test for patentability under 35 U.S.C. § 101."

Fuzzysharp Technologies Inc. v. 3DLabs Inc. Ltd.,
4-07-cv-05948 (CAND December 11, 2009, Order) (Armstrong, J.)

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