Uniloc USA, Inc. et al v. ADP, LLC, 2-16-cv-00741 (TXED September 28, 2017, Order) (Schroeder, USDJ)
Monday, October 2, 2017
Application Preference Configuration Patent Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss because the asserted claims of plaintiff’s application configuration patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea. "The [patent-in-suit] is directed to obtaining user and administrator sets of configuration preferences for applications and then executing the applications using both sets of obtained preferences. . . . The [challenged] claims . . . involve computers but do nothing to improve their functionality. The claims employ off-the-shelf computer components without modification. The Court has already held that the kind of benefits they provide -- 'increased efficiency' or 'reduced costs' -- are not technological benefits. . . . [T]he claims of the [patent] are overly vague in that they recite 'executing the application program using the obtained user set and the obtained administrator set [of preferences],' without claiming any 'particular way of programming or designing the software' to facilitate execution of the program according to the claim. . . . [T]he claims of the [patent] are directed to the abstract idea of 'providing two-tiered customization' in a client-server environment."