Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Asserted Claims of Attention Management Patent Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

The court granted defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings that the asserted claims of plaintiff’s attention management patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea. "[Plaintiff] argues that the claims are 'directed to the operation of an attention manager system,' which, as construed by the Federal Circuit, is a not an abstract idea but rather a 'multi-tiered, networked architecture of computers that communicates in a predefined manner to facilitate the automatic provision of information from multiple content providers to an interested user in a[] non-invasive manner.'. . . [T]he asserted claims are directed to the abstract idea of providing information to a person without interfering with the person’s primary activity. This basic and longstanding practice can be found in, for example, a television station’s use of a breaking news ticker across the bottom of the screen. The text-only news ticker provides information to viewers without interfering with the primary activity: the main story then being reported by the on-screen news anchor. Similarly, a lawyer’s legal assistant may provide her with messages or mail in a manner that does not interfere with her primary activity: participating in a conference call. This could be accomplished at a certain time (delivering the message between telephone calls) or in a certain location (placing the message in the corner of her desk)."

Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc., et al, 2-10-cv-01385 (WAWD June 17, 2016, Order) (Pechman, J.)

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