Monday, March 23, 2015

Determining §101 Validity at the Pleading Stage Warranted Only in “Narrow Circumstances”

The magistrate judge recommended denying defendant's motion to dismiss and rejected the argument that the validity of the asserted patient monitoring patent under §101 could be determined at the pleading stage. "While handling the issue of §101 eligibility at the pleading stage is permissible, those issues are often inextricably tied to claim construction. Thus, it seems a definitive ruling on eligibility before claim construction is only warranted in narrow circumstances, making such a ruling the exception rather than the rule. . . . The difficulty of making a substantive ruling on the validity of an issued patent in what is – in essence – a complete vacuum cannot be understated. While the claim language of some patents may be so clear that the court need only undertake a facial analysis to render it invalid at the pleading stage, that will not be the norm and is certainly not the case here."

My Health, Inc. v. LifeScan, Inc., 2-14-cv-00683 (TXED March 19, 2015, Order) (Payne, M.J.)

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