Green Mountain Glass, LLC et al v. Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. d/b/a Verallia North America n/k/a Ardagh Glass Inc., 1-14-cv-00392 (DED October 11, 2016, Order) (Sleet, USDJ)
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Glass Recycling Patent Not Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court denied defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that plaintiff’s glass recycling patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea. "As a whole, the claims of the [patent-in-suit] describe a manufacturing process for recycling batches of mixed colored cutlet glass into glass bottles with desired properties. The claims require steps that the glass-maker must physically carry out -- he cannot simply use his mind or a pen and paper to perform them. . . . [Defendant] analogizes the [patent] to the one found invalid in [another case]. . . . [That patent] was directed to a method of updating alarm limits in a catalytic conversion process. . . . The court found that, at its core, the patent claimed only a method of measuring and calculating, using a mathematical formula -- an abstract idea that, without an inventive or physical application, was unpatentable. . . . Here, the [patent-in-suit] . . . claims a step-by-step industrial process for creating a one-color glass end-product from recycled, mixed-color glass. . . . In analyzing the specific claims of the [patent-in-suit], and using prior § 101 case law only as a lighthouse in a notoriously foggy area of the law, the court concludes that the [patent-in-suit] falls within the § 101 categories of patentable subject matter."