Probably in the eye of the beholder whether these rulings were a positive development, but they definitely decreased entropy in this case brought by Entropic Communications. Judge Payne (1) granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of no invalidity as to certain prior art defenses (which just FYI isn’t the same thing as a judgment of “validity”); (2) granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as to the defendant’s Section 101 defense; and (3) denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity.
In fairness, it was with leave to replead, directing the plaintiff what to include, if it can. But there is no analysis explaining why the court concluded that the claims of the patent “as currently pleaded” didn’t meet either of the Alice steps – only a statement that what the plaintiff should include is express factual allegations “that address whether the claims recite elements that are well-understood, routine, or conventional.”
Judge Kathleen Cardone of El Paso granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, finding that: (1) the challenged claim was representative of the other claims of the patent because all were directed to the same idea, managing vehicle access to a secure area; (2) managing vehicle access to a secure area was an abstract idea; and (3) the claim did not contain an inventive concept.
One of my favorite things about modelbuilding is the opportunity it gives me to thoroughly research a topic. Last night I was studying the above recently discovered photo of the U.S. carrier U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) shortly before the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942 which helps nail down once and for all the burning question of whether she had removed the second boat boom aft on the port side for a May 1942 model I’m building (it’ll be my fourth of the same ship at the same battle because I gotta be me). Similarly, with the Waco patent docket thrown to the winds, almost every substantive order now is from a different judge – here the WDTX’ new chief judge Alia Moses, granting a motion for judgment on the pleadings for lack of patentable subject matter, which provides significant insights far beyond the bare language of the order.
Judge Payne denied the defendant’s motion for partial dismissal asserting that three of the four patents in suit were directed to ineligible subject matter, holding that at the motion to dismiss phase, and in the absence of claim construction, the court could not agree with the defendant position without having first examined what a person in ordinary skill of the art would interpret the terms to mean.
allocation” in order to keep plaintiffs from filing in single-judge divisions. The random assignment of all civil cases across the Northern District “would present logistical challenges” Judge Godbey continued, because of the huge geographic size of the district, which encompasses more than 96,000 square miles. Any reconsideration of case allocation must also consider the “convenience of the jurors, witnesses, parties and attorneys,” the travel burden on court personnel and “the desire of communities to have local judges.”
Apparently undeterred by said considerations, the chief judges of the smaller Western District of Texas (only 93,000 square miles) have assigned most of its judges south of Dallas and east of Houston a 1/12 interest, more or less, in the Waco patent docket, which meant that this Waco Division case was assigned to Judge Xavier Rodriguez of San Antonio, who last week granted a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims as unpatentable subject matter.
Judge Payne denied the motion, finding that there was “no doubt” that claim one of the asserted patent is directed to patent eligible subject matter, noting that the Federal Circuit has “repeatedly held” the claims directed to an improvement in computer or network functionality are patent eligible in this case, the patent claims were directed to a tangible improvement to computer network functionality through the use of a logical ring monitoring system.