TQP Development, LLC v. Intuit, Inc., 2-12-cv-00180 (TXED February 19, 2014, Order) (Bryson, C.J.)
Friday, February 21, 2014
Encryption Patent Not Invalid for Claiming Unpatentable Subject Matter
The court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment that plaintiff's data transmission patent was invalid for lack of patentable subject matter and found that the invention did not fail the machine-or-transformation test. "Typically, transforming data from one form to another does not qualify as the kind of transformation that the Supreme Court . . . regarded as an important indicator of patent eligibility. In the case of an invention in the field of encryption, however, the entire object of the invention is to transform data from one form into another that will be recognizable by the intended recipient but secure against decryption by unintended recipients. In that setting, it does not make sense to say that the transformation of data from one form to another cannot qualify as a patent-eligible invention, because that is what the field of cryptology is all about. . . . [A]lthough the invention in this case does not result in the physical transformation of matter . . . it involves a specific system for modifying data that has equally concrete and valuable effects in the field of electronic communications."