The Federal Circuit elaborated that Patent Eligibility is a Threshold Inquiry

The Federal Circuit elaborated that Patent Eligibility is a Threshold Inquiry. In OIP v. Amazon the Federal Circuit upheld a District Court’s grant of a motion to dismiss because of patent invalidity. OIP alleged that Amazon was infringing its claimed computer implemented methods for optimizing the pricing of products for sale by gathering statistics, compiling data, analyzing the data and statistics, and then selecting a unique price for each unique consumer. Interestingly, the District Court granted Amazon’s motion to dismiss because the District Court held that the patent in question was ineligible subject matter related to an abstract idea and that the claims recited routine, conventional computer activities of data-gathering steps that lacked an inventive concept.

This motion effectively vacated the infringement claim and invalidated the patent on a motion to dismiss. Importantly, this occurred at an early stage of trial proceedings and before substantial discovery costs and other financial burdens. The Federal Circuit did more than affirm the District Court’s holding, they praised it. Judge Mayer concurred by saying that “addressing patent eligibility under section 101 at the outset conserves judicial resources, spares litigants discovery and claim construction costs, and helps stop suits involving vague and overbroad business method patents.”

source: Maier & Maier, PLLC

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