Summary: CAFC rules on issues of patent eligibility under 35. U.S.C. § 101.

Case: Cyberfone Sys., LLC, v. CNN Interactive Grp., Inc., No. 12-1673 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 26, 2014) (non-precedential). On appeal from D. Del. Before Lourie, Dyk, and Wallach.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff Cyberfone appealed summary judgment of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 101. CAFC affirmed.

  • Patent Eligibility (§ 101): The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that the method claims were ineligible for patent protection under § 101 because the claims merely involved obtaining data from a telephone, separating the data, and sending portions of the data to different destinations. Although the method could not be performed by a human unaided by devices, “the category of patent-ineligible abstract ideas is not limited to methods that can be performed in the human mind.” The recited “telephone” was not a specific machine and added nothing of significance to the claimed abstract idea. The Federal Circuit also agreed with the district court that claim construction does not need to precede the § 101 analysis.