Fed. Cir. affirms subject matter ineligibility of method and apparatus claims directed to a “profile” for describing certain color properties for a digital imaging device.
Digitech Image Techs., LLC v. Elecs. for Imaging, Inc., ___F.3d ___ (Fed. Cir. July 11, 2014) (Moore, REYNA, Hughes) (C.D. Cal.: Wright) (4 of 5 stars)
Apparatus claims: The “device profile” in the claims was not a tangible or physical thing, but a collection of information about a digital imaging device. The claim included no requirement limiting the “profile” to any particular hardware or software in a digital imaging device. “Data in its ethereal, non-physical form is simply information that does not fall under any of the categories of eligible subject matter under section 101.” Slip op. at 9. Applying Nuitjen, claims requiring no physical embodiment at all for “data” are not patent eligible.
Method claims: The claimed method was directed to an abstract idea of organizing information through mathematical correlations, and had no express ties to any imaging device or other machine. The recitation of a “digital image reproduction system” was solely in the claim preamble, which was not limiting. Because the claim had no connection to any physical machine, it was unnecessary to evaluate whether the presence of such a machine in the claim might cause the claim to address patent eligible subject matter under Mayo or Alice Corp.