On September 21, 2015, Judge Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas ruled that the claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,266,674 (the “’674 Patent”) are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The outcome is not surprising given the ’674 Patent claims. But some have interpreted Judge Gilstrap’s recent modification to his Sample Docket Control Order requiring a showing of good cause before filing a Section 101 motion as an attempt to stem the tide of Section 101 motions being filed in his court. The prompt resolution of defendants’ motions in this case – approximately two and a half months from their opening briefs to the order – indicates otherwise.
The ’674 Patent, entitled “Random Access Information Retrieval Utilizing User-Defined Labels,” generally claims computerized methods for storing and retrieving information. Before delving into the two-step test reaffirmed inAlice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the court determined that the claim construction was not required. With respect to the first step, the court determined that the ’674 Patent claims are directed to “the abstract idea of storing and labeling information,” which are “routine tasks that could be performed by a human.” In doing so, the court disregarded plaintiff’s expert declarations stating that the claimed steps cannot be performed by a human.
As to the second step, the court noted that the claims merely recite generic computer terms such as “data structure,” “data,” input,” and “label.” As a result, the inclusion of those terms “that may vaguely allude to computer-based activity does not suffice to meaningfully restrict the ’674 Patent from preempting the abstract idea itself.” Indeed, the express language of the claims does not require a computer. Because the ’674 Patent claims are directed to an abstract idea and the claims do not transform the claim into a patent-eligible application, the court ruled that the claims of the ’674 Patent are ineligible for patent protection.
Edekka LLC v. 3balls.com, Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-541-JRG (E.D. Tex. Sept. 21, 2015); Edekka LLC v. E Revolution Ventures, Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-585-JRG (E.D. Tex. Sept. 21, 2015)