Judge Andrews invalidates patent under 101

Judge Richard G. Andrews recently granted a motion for summary judgment that the asserted claims of a patented “apparatus, method and database for control of audio/video equipment” is invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101.   D&M Holdings Inc. v. Sonos, Inc., C.A. No. 16-141-RGA (D. Del. Feb. 20, 2018).  The Court agreed with the defendant that the claim at issue was “at most, directed to the automation process that can be (and has been) performed by humans,” such as when (1) a person chooses a particular DVD to watch by identifying its title, (2) the person determines, based on memory, whether he or she watched the DVD previously and, if so, whether he or she selected playback preferences, and (3) if the person recalls such playback preferences, selecting the same preferences before beginning to watch the DVD or, if no such preferences are recalled, the DVD plays with default preferences.   Id. at 8.  The Court thus viewed the asserted claim as “directed to the abstract idea of choosing to play back media with or without playback preferences.”  Further, it “provides no inventive concept, and at most merely automate[s] the abstract idea through the use of a generic, conventional technology.”  Id. at 12.

D&M 16-141 (02-20)

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