Clear With Computers, LLC v. Altec Industries, Inc., 6-14-cv-00079 (TXED March 3, 2015, Order) (Gilstrap, J.)
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Customized Proposal Preparation Patent Invalid Under Alice
The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims for infringement of its proposal preparation patents because the asserted patents lacked patentable subject matter. "[T]he asserted claims are directed to the abstract idea of creating a customized sales proposal for a customer. . . . [T]he Court does not hold that all claims in software-based patents are directed to an abstract idea. Indeed, the contours are often unclear between those inventions that are directed to an abstract idea and those that are not. . . . Although verbose, the claims as a whole broadly recite a simple process which, in this case, does not require the type of complex programming that confers patent eligibility. Importantly, the claims in no way 'purport to improve the functioning of the computer itself.' Likewise, the claimed invention is not 'necessarily rooted in computer technology in order to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks.'. . . The claims identify no inventive algorithms or otherwise creative means for generating a customized sales proposal other than an instruction that the basic process be performed using generic computer components."