Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Incentive Program Patent Invalid Under 35 USC § 101

The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment that plaintiff's incentive program patent was invalid for lack of patentable subject matter and found that the patent lacked an inventive concept. "Nothing in the claims purports to improve the functioning of the computer itself, and the computer-related elements of the claim add nothing that is not already present in the steps of the claimed system and methods, other than the speed and convenience of basic computer functions such as calculation, communication, and the display of information. . . . [Plaintiff] relies on the presumed volume of information and speed required in large, commercial incentive award programs, which a human armed with only a pencil and paper could not keep up with. But the claims apply to incentive award programs without regard to their size, and there is no room for doubt that if the incentive program were small, humans could perform each of the tasks that the claims assign to computers without the need for processing assistance."

Kroy IP Holdings, LLC v. Safeway, Inc., 2-12-cv-00800 (TXED May 29, 2015, Order) (Bryson, C.J.)

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