Judge Thynge grants motion for summary judgment of invalidity under § 101.

Chief Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge recently granted a motion for summary judgment of invalidity under § 101 filed by Google relating to the Plaintiff’s search method patent.  Collarity, Inc. v. Google Inc., C.A. No. 11-1103-MPT (D. Del. Nov. 25, 2015).  Judge Thynge agreed with Google that the plaintiff’s patent claimed an abstract idea—“refining search queries . . . by switching some used words in the query but not others”—that could be performed on a general purpose computer or even by a human with pen and paper.  The Court also found that the patent claimed no inventive concept.  While the Plaintiff argued that the claims were specific to improving internet searching, Judge Thynge noted that the claims, themselves, never mentioned the internet at all.  Finally, Judge Thynge disagreed with the Plaintiff’s argument that the PTO’s issuance, post-Alice, of a continuation patent that included nearly identical claim language showed that the Plaintiff’s patent was valid.  As the Court explained, if the Plaintiff’s argument was correct, “any patent issued post-Alice would be inoculated from invalidity under Section 101.  That is not the case.”


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