Move, Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance, Ltd. et al, 2-07-cv-02185 (CACD December 1, 2016, Order) (King, USDJ)
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Real Estate Search Patent Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment because the asserted claims of defendants' real estate search patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea. "[T]he [patent] is directed to a method for collecting and organizing information about available real estate properties and displaying this information on a digital map that can be manipulated by the user. . . . The fact that the map is digital, rather than physical, does not change the analysis. The [patent] relies on generic computing capabilities to render the map. . . . Organizing geographic data in this way is commonsensical – it is the type of approach anyone attempting to organize a large amount of geographic data would think to use. Allowing a user to orient herself using a larger map, and then to select a smaller, more detailed map corresponding to her geographic preference, is similarly commonsensical. All of these steps could be approximated by a realtor with an atlas. . . . Although the [patent] discloses pages of logical flow charts that explain how the computer should be programmed to perform the claimed method, [defendant] does not explain how the disclosed program differs from that which any programmer would have used to implement the claimed method."