Thursday, December 18, 2014

Customized Advertising Patent Invalid Under Alice

The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment that plaintiff's customizable advertising patent was invalid for lack of patentable subject matter. "[T]he specification . . . makes clear that a primary potential use of the system is to allow advertisers to direct customized ads to individuals. . . . "[Defendant's] characterization of this patent as embodying only an 'abstract idea' is accurate. The concept of gathering information about one’s intended market and attempting to customize the information then provided is as old as the saying, 'know your audience.'. . . The idea is abstract, and no limitations exist in the claims to provide an 'inventive concept' sufficient to transform that idea into patent-eligible subject matter. Indeed, the claim language itself does not even expressly call for the use of computers or the internet."

OpenTV Inc. v. Netflix Inc., 3-14-cv-01525 (CAND December 16, 2014, Order) (Seeborg, J.)

How have other courts ruled on patentable subject matter after Alice?

Since Alice was decided last June, U.S. district courts have issued 31 dispositive or potentially dispositive decisions addressing patentable subject matter. To view those decisions, click here.

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