Exergen Corporation v. Thermomedics, Inc. et al, 1-13-cv-11243 (MAD September 15, 2015, Order) (Casper, J.)
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Forehead Thermometer Patent Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment that plaintiff's temporal artery thermometer patent was invalid for lack of patentable subject matter and found that the claims lacked an inventive concept. "[Plaintiff] argues that when taken together, the measurement of body temperature from the surface of the forehead is patent eligible because this practice was thought to be impossible at the time the [patent-in-suit] was issued. . . . [Plaintiff's CEO/inventor] spent years conducting clinical trials of [plaintiff's] forehead thermometer to overcome skepticism among medical professionals who believed that measuring temperature at the forehead could not lead to accurate estimates of core body temperature. . . . No matter how novel the concept of measuring body temperature from forehead skin temperature or how valuable the contribution to the medical community, this idea as set forth in the asserted claims is fundamentally a discovery of a natural relationship between skin temperature and body temperature. 'Groundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant discovery does not by itself satisfy the § 101 inquiry.'"