Friday, September 21, 2012

Timeshare Trading Patent Invalid for Failure to Claim Patentable Subject Matter Under Bilski

The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's infringement action for failure to state a claim where the patent-in-suit for trading timeshare properties over a network did not cover patentable subject matter. "[T]he computer components in independent claim 1 do not play a significant part in permitting the method to be performed. A computer is required only for performing basic, high-level tasks like crediting and debiting accounts, and notifying property management. . . . [These steps] are indistinguishable from the tasks that a human would perform manually, which was how the vacation timeshare industry functioned for nearly 30 years before the [patent-in-suit] was filed. . . . Adding the words 'apply it to a computer' cannot transform an abstract idea into a patentable claim, yet Plaintiff’s bare recitations of a computer and a database attempt to do just that."

Vacation Exchange, LLC v. Wyndham Exchange and Rentals, Inc., et. al., 2-12-cv-04229 (CACD September 18, 2012, Order) (Klausner, J.).

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