Monday, September 26, 2011

Email Processing Patent Claims Patentable Subject Matter Under Bilski

The magistrate judge recommended denying defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's infringement claims on the ground that the asserted email processing patent was not drawn to eligible subject matter. "Here, the claims recite a method performed using a mail processing program. It is therefore a process within the definition of the Patent Act, and the question is whether it is so abstract to be ineligible. . . . [T]he use of the mail processing program to scan incoming messages, determine whether the messages are context-aware, and, if so, to retrieve the context information from one or more external locations will require programming. . . . [T]he software would not be so simple as to involve purely mental steps in which the computer’s use was merely incidental. . . . Bearing in mind that the Federal Circuit has narrowly construed the exclusion for purely mental steps, it is the undersigned’s view that the [patent-in-suit] claims eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101."

InNova v. 3Com Corporation, et. al., 2-10-cv-00251 (TXED September 22, 2011, Order) (Everingham, M.J.)

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