Activity Tracking Devices, Systems, and Components Thereof, 337-TA-963 (ITC April 27, 2016, Order) (Lord, ALJ)
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Activity Tracking Patents Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The ALJ granted respondents' motion for summary determination that two of complainant's activity tracking patents were invalid for lack of patentable subject matter and found that the asserted claims were directed to abstract ideas. "Utilizing conventional electronic devices to obtain and manipulate sleep-related data of an individual is an abstract idea bereft of any innovative technological concept and, as such, cannot be monopolized by [complainant]. This type of information can be and has been collected and recorded by human minds and hands. . . . That the generic components of the patented system are housed within a single unit 'configured to be removably mounted' on the individual's body also fails to render the purported invention less abstract. Staff agrees with [complainant] that the addition of the wearable device saves the [asserted] patent, but I am not persuaded. . . . [T]he recitation of a system consisting of 'a handful of generic computer components' and a wearable device to house them is in substance no different than the abstract idea itself. Notwithstanding that the draftsman of the [patent] included a wearable device as part of the claimed system, the abstract idea of tracking sleep remains unchanged."