SPEX Technologies, Inc. v. Apricorn, 2-16-cv-07349 (CACD January 9, 2017, Order) (Selna, USDJ)
Friday, January 20, 2017
Peripheral Device Security Patent Not Ineligible Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff’s peripheral device security patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward an abstract idea. "[Defendant] argues that claim 11 is directed to the abstract idea of securing access to secret information, which is a concept that has been practiced throughout modern history by humans. The Court finds that claim 11 is not directed to an abstract idea. . . . [C]laim 11 is tied to a specific structure, which is a peripheral device, and produces a technological improvement. The invention addresses security problems pertaining to peripheral devices. . . . [C]laim 11 describes a physical structure that contains a combination of components, not a method or system that uses a general computer to secure access to secret information."