Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Distributed Processing Patents Invalid Under 35 USC § 101

The court granted defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings that plaintiff's distributed processing patents were invalid for lack of patentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed to abstract ideas. "[Plaintiff] argues that the claims cover a system of networked computers that communicate with each other and coordinate tasks through a hierarchical structure, and that these computing-oriented and computer-specific limitations take the claims out of the realm of the abstract. . . . The patents-in-suit recite the abstract idea of distributed processing akin to the military's command and control system, a longstanding and intuitive practice used by many large hierarchical organizations that value speed, efficiency, reliability, and accountability. . . . [Plaintiff] argues that the patent claims are not directed towards an abstract idea because they are not directed to a mathematical algorithm, a fundamental economic practice, or a longstanding commercial practice, and instead address challenges particular to distributed computer networks. [Plaintiff's] attempt to attach talismanic significance to the mathematical algorithm, fundamental economic practice, and longstanding commercial practice categories, however, has already been rejected by the Supreme Court. . . . [Plaintiff's] arguments about the challenges of mission-critical computing and distributed computing, and the benefits that distributed processing using networked computers provides over previously available computing systems, are also unavailing — that an abstract idea is a good idea does not make it any less abstract."

Appistry, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al, 2-15-cv-00311 (WAWD July 9, 2015, Order) (Pechman, J.)

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