Priceplay.com Inc. v. AOL Advertising Inc., 1-14-cv-00092 (DED March 18, 2015, Order) (Andrews, J.)
Friday, March 20, 2015
E-Commerce Patents Invalid Under Alice
The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of patentable subject matter because plaintiff's e-commerce patents lacked an inventive concept. "[Plaintiff] argues that the 'novel combination of a buyer's participation in both an auction and a 'competitive' or 'intermediary' activity is distinct from any of the systems for conducting e-commerce,' and thus makes the subject matter patent-eligible. . . . The addition of an auction and a competitive activity to a sales transaction is nothing more than the addition of 'well-understood, routine, conventional activity.'. . . Contrary to [plaintiff's] assertion during oral argument, the Internet is not essential to perform the claimed functions. Reliance on an intermediary activity to determine price has been a practice in sale negotiations throughout history, long before the existence of the Internet or computers."