Petition for Covered Business Method Patent Review by Google Inc., CBM2015-00071 (PTAB August 18, 2016, Order) (Chung, APJ)
Monday, August 22, 2016
Personalized Nutrition Information Patent Deemed Unpatentable Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
In a final written decision, the Board found claims of a patent directed to a computerized method and system to provide personalized nutritional information to consumers unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101. "Relying on the distinction made in [Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347, 2354 (2014)] between, on one hand, computer-functionality improvements and, on the other, uses of existing computers as tools in aid of processes focused on 'abstract ideas,' the court in [Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 822 F.3d 1327, 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2016)] clarified that a relevant inquiry in step one of the Alice framework is to ask whether the 'focus' of the claims is on the specific asserted improvement in computer capabilities or, instead, on a process that qualifies as an 'abstract idea' for which computers are invoked merely as a tool. . . . [T]he challenged claims in this case, contrary to Patent Owner’s assertion, are not directed to a barcode entry device, personal data related to the individual, and prestored nutritional data, because the claims are not focused on any specific improvement in the functioning of a barcode reader or a nutritional database. . . . [W]e determine that . . . the focus of the challenged claims is on collecting and correlating information, a process that qualifies as an 'abstract idea' for which conventional components, such as a barcode reader, data input devices, a processor, and a nutritional database, are merely invoked as tools used in their ordinary and conventional manner."