Treehouse Avatar LLC v. Valve Corporation, 1-15-cv-00427 (DED March 22, 2016, Order) (Robinson, J.)
Monday, March 28, 2016
Patent Directed to Collecting User Data From a Network Not Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff’s patent directed to collecting user data from a network encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed to an abstract idea. "Defendant attempts to summarize the claims of the patent as 'the abstract concept of allowing a customer or potential customer to customize a 'character' by selecting 'character attributes' and then to keep a 'tally' of character/attributes that have been selected.' Defendant then analogizes this concept to a 'human' counterpart, namely participating in a mall focus group. . . . Such a characterization does not embody the Internet centric concept of the claims. . . . The human analogy is not representative of the claims as a whole, which describe more than the pre-Internet business concept of 'tallying' choices applied in a computer setting. Instead, the claims are more like those in [DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.Com, L.P., 773 F.3d 1245 (Fed. Cir. 2014)], to wit, 'necessarily rooted in computer technology in order to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks.'"