Judge Burke recommends granting-in-part motion to dismiss based on 35 U.S.C. § 101

Judge Christopher J. Burke recently recommended the Court grant-in-part defendants’ 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  Versata Software, Inc., et al. v. Netbrain Techs., Inc., et al., C.A. Nos. 13-676-LPS-CJB, C.A. Nos. 13-678-LPS (D. Del.  Sept. 30, 2015).  Plaintiffs asserted five patents against defendants: U.S. Patents Nos. 6,834,282; 6,907,414; 7,363,593; 7,426,481; and 7,082,454.  For four of the five asserted patents, containing collectively 201 claims, defendants asserted that all claims were directed to unpatentable subject matter.  Id. at 9.  But, because defendants only “meaningful[ly] addressed a few of the claims, Judge Burke declined to “make a final determination” for the other claims to which defendants gave “negligible attention.”

In short, defendants argued, and the Court agreed, that the claims were directed to the abstract ideas of: “representing data in a hierarchy” (id. at 14-15); “taking data that is not stored in a hierarchy and putting it in hierarchical form before presenting it to a user” (id. at 29);  “displaying data organized in hierarchical form” (id. at 35); “searching data using features and product numbers” (id. at 41); and “providing access to a file by determining if the file exists in a storage system (cache), returning the file to the requester if the file exists, and if not, creating, storing, and sending the requested file” (id.at 47-48).

Judge Burke also determined that the “patent claims do not require anything beyond the use of generic and conventional computer hardware and software[,]” therefore not providing an inventive concept. Id. at 20.  See also 30-31,  36-37, 43, 50.


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