Zircore, LLC v. Straumann Manufacturing, Inc. et al, 2-15-cv-01557 (TXED January 20, 2017, Order) (Payne, MJ)
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Patent for Manufacturing Custom Dental Crowns Not Ineligible Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The magistrate judge recommended denying defendants' motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff’s patent for manufacturing custom dental crowns encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea. "[T]he [patent-in-suit] describes a physical process for collecting information about a patient’s mouth, preparing a three-dimensional model of the mouth, scanning the model, and on the basis of data collected from this process, manufacturing the custom crown coping. . . . Defendants isolate two steps from the [patent] claims, the combination of which is allegedly the point of novelty, and ignore the remainder of the claims. Contrary to Defendants assertion, the [patent] claims are directed to a method of manufacturing physical crown copings for prosthodontics. . . . It is true as Defendants suggest that the claims, at least on their face, appear to include certain steps that could be construed as computerized steps, and thus steps that could arguably be carried out mentally. But Defendants cite no authority for the proposition that a claim reciting a method of manufacturing becomes abstract simply because it includes modeling or involves the use of computerized data."