Claims Including Computer Speed and Efficiency Improvements May Still Be Ineligible Under Section 101
Before Prost, Dyk, and Moore. Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Summary: Claims directed towards an abstract idea are ineligible even though the claims included features that improved computer speed and efficiency.
Dish Network petitioned for CBM review of two Customedia patents relating to delivering targeted advertisements. The PTAB found many of the claims of each patent ineligible under Section 101. Customedia appealed.
Customedia argued the claimed invention was not an abstract idea under Alice Step One because it improved data transfer speed and efficiencies by dedicating a section of the computer’s memory to advertising data. Even accepting that assertion as true, however, the Federal Circuit determined the claimed invention merely improves the abstract concept of delivering targeting advertisements using a computer as a tool. It did not improve the “functioning of the computer itself.” As for Alice Step Two, the claims merely invoked a “conventional receiver” that was “insufficient to supply the required inventive concept.” Thus, the Federal Circuit affirmed.
Editor: Paul Stewart