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February, 2016
Patexia Webinar
Getting Past Alice
Manny Schecter
Chief Patent Counsel, IBM
schecter@us.ibm.com
Patexia Webinar
Agenda
§  Introduction
§  Alice
§  Subsequent case law and patent examination
§  Status
§  Going forward
2
Patexia Webinar
Agenda
§  Introduction
§  Alice
§  Subsequent case law and patent examination
§  Status
§  Going forward
3
Patexia Webinar
Quotes From Law360, June 17, 2015
“Where Do We Stand One Year After Alice”
“No U.S. Supreme Court patent c...
Patexia Webinar5
Full Disclosure: IBM Amicus Brief
5
In the
Supreme Court of the United States
________________
ALICE CORP...
Patexia Webinar6
IBM Amicus Brief
§  Uncertainty regarding patent-eligibility of computer-
implemented inventions endanger...
Patexia Webinar
Agenda
§  Introduction
§  Alice
§  Subsequent case law and patent examination
§  Status
§  Going forward
7
Patexia Webinar
Test for Patent Subject Matter Eligibility
(USPTO Flowchart)
8
Patexia Webinar9
Supreme Court’s Decision in Alice (2014)
§  Unanimous decision: all claims ineligible abstract
ideas
§  “...
Patexia Webinar
The Crux of the Problem
If all inventions rely on an abstract idea,
how do we determine whether an inventi...
Patexia Webinar
General Acknowledgement of Legitimacy of
Computer Implemented Inventions
§  Did not find software and/or b...
Patexia Webinar
Need to Recite More Than Mere Computer
§  “Stating an abstract idea while adding the words
‘apply it’ is n...
Patexia Webinar13
Examples of Abstract Ideas from Alice
§  Fundamental economic practice long prevalent in
our system of c...
Patexia Webinar14
Significantly More Than Abstract Idea Itself
§  Improvements to another technology or technical field
§ ...
Patexia Webinar
Agenda
§  Introduction
§  Alice
§  Subsequent case law and patent examination
§  Status
§  Going forward
15
Patexia Webinar
Subsequent Case Law
16
Patexia Webinar
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 *2015
District court 101 invali...
Patexia Webinar
Lower Court Results
§  Lower courts since Alice: ~65-75% invalidity rate
on §101 grounds
§  Federal Circui...
Patexia Webinar
Are the Lower Court Results Deceptive?
§  Computer implemented invention optimists argue
technical patents...
Patexia Webinar
Which Is Patent Eligible Subject Matter?
20
Patexia Webinar
None!
21
Rovi v Netflix
Media Synch
Across Devices
Synopsis v Mentor Graphics
Circuit Logic Synthesis
for ...
Patexia Webinar
Thales Visionix v. USA and Elbit Systems
(Ct. Fed. Clm. 2015)
“[Regarding Alice Step 2] the system claim f...
Patexia Webinar
Lingering Case Law Issues
§  Conflation of 35 USC §101 v. §102/103/112
§  Preemption v. parsing v. as a wh...
Patexia Webinar
Subsequent USPTO Activity
24
Patexia Webinar
Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB)
§  Glass half full or half empty?
§  Same aggressive results used by
bo...
Patexia Webinar
Rate of §101 Rejections in
Patent Examination Over Time
Source: Robert Sachs, Fenwick & West, Bilskiblog/A...
Patexia Webinar
USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines
§  Focus on each individual claim as a whole
§  Prima f...
Patexia Webinar
USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines
§  Aspirationally appropriate
§  Collaborative and iter...
Patexia Webinar
How Many Examples Are Needed?
29
Patexia Webinar
Lingering Issues in Patent Examination
§  Examiners just as confused as everyone else
§  Examples focus on...
Patexia Webinar
Agenda
§  Introduction
§  Alice
§  Subsequent case law and patent examination
§  Status
§  Going forward
31
Patexia Webinar
Summary of Case Law for Patent Eligibility of
Computer Implemented Inventions
32
Cases Before Alice Cases ...
Patexia Webinar
Lack of Alignment
33
Courts
PTAB
Examiners
Patexia Webinar
Where Are We Now?
§  Warning: USPTO interpretation does not have force
of law!
§  Greater uncertainty
§  §...
Patexia Webinar
Computer ease of use working against patent eligibility?
Inflection point on relative strength of geo pate...
Patexia Webinar
Agenda
§  Introduction
§  Alice
§  Subsequent case law and patent examination
§  Status
§  Going forward
36
Patexia Webinar
Claiming Tips
§  Focus claim language on technology, not business
§  Avoid mere economic claim language
§ ...
Patexia Webinar
Prosecution Tips
§  Interview early
§  Delay prosecution
§  Distinguish abstract idea from claims
§  Ask f...
Patexia Webinar
Litigation Tips
§  Defendants
– Alice adds significantly more to your defense!
– Early PTAB challenges sta...
Patexia Webinar
Remediation?
§  Never-ending search for clarity goes on
§  Other forms of IP are inadequate
§  Alice canno...
Patexia Webinar
Legislation?
§  Better to do nothing?
§  Codification of worst fears?
§  Elimination of judicial exception...
Patexia Webinar
Principles For Potential Legislation
§  Technology neutral
§  Claim considered as a
whole
§  Independent o...
Patexia Webinar
Software Industry
43
Source: BSA
Patexia Webinar44
Thank You. Questions?
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Getting past alice schecter patexia (2016-02-25)

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Mr Schecter's webinar will focus on the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in the Alice case and potential paths going forward. Mr. Schecter will begin with an examination of how the lower courts and the USPTO have reacted to the Alice decision, and then consider the possibility of additional Supreme Court jurisprudence or legislation.

Published in: Law
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Getting past alice schecter patexia (2016-02-25)

  1. 1. February, 2016 Patexia Webinar Getting Past Alice Manny Schecter Chief Patent Counsel, IBM schecter@us.ibm.com
  2. 2. Patexia Webinar Agenda §  Introduction §  Alice §  Subsequent case law and patent examination §  Status §  Going forward 2
  3. 3. Patexia Webinar Agenda §  Introduction §  Alice §  Subsequent case law and patent examination §  Status §  Going forward 3
  4. 4. Patexia Webinar Quotes From Law360, June 17, 2015 “Where Do We Stand One Year After Alice” “No U.S. Supreme Court patent case has ever had so large an effect in so short a time…” Ken Adamo, Kirkland & Ellis “[P]ublic companies…will have to consider writing down the value of their portfolios…” Richard Baker, New England IP “[R]adically changed patent litigation…” Maya Eckstein, Hunton & Williams “[W]e remain in a confusing state where validity under §101 is unclear…” Barry Goldsmith, Miles & Stockbridge “[S]parked a fire that continues to rage…” John Jarosz, Analysis Group “The destructive wake of Alice…” Dr. Scott Kamholz, Foley Hoag “[A] game changer…” Patricia Martone, Law Office of Patricia Martone “[A]nimated a defense to patent assertions…” Paul Roeder, HP “[A] very blunt instrument…” Gary Rosen, Law Offices of Gary Rosen “[T]remendous value was destroyed…” Jaime Siegel, Acacia Research 4
  5. 5. Patexia Webinar5 Full Disclosure: IBM Amicus Brief 5 In the Supreme Court of the United States ________________ ALICE CORPORATION PTY.LTD., Petitioner, v. CLS BANK INTERNATIONAL AND CLS SERVICES LTD., Respondents. ________________ On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ________________ BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION IN SUPPORT OF NEITHER PARTY
  6. 6. Patexia Webinar6 IBM Amicus Brief §  Uncertainty regarding patent-eligibility of computer- implemented inventions endangers critical part of our economy §  Abstract idea doctrine unworkable in the computer- implemented invention context §  Concerns generally better addressed under other sections of statute 6
  7. 7. Patexia Webinar Agenda §  Introduction §  Alice §  Subsequent case law and patent examination §  Status §  Going forward 7
  8. 8. Patexia Webinar Test for Patent Subject Matter Eligibility (USPTO Flowchart) 8
  9. 9. Patexia Webinar9 Supreme Court’s Decision in Alice (2014) §  Unanimous decision: all claims ineligible abstract ideas §  “[W]e need not labor to delimit the precise contours of the abstract ideas category…” §  “[W]e tread carefully in construing this exclusionary principle lest it swallow all of patent law.” 9
  10. 10. Patexia Webinar The Crux of the Problem If all inventions rely on an abstract idea, how do we determine whether an invention is significantly more than an abstract idea we do not know how to delimit? 10
  11. 11. Patexia Webinar General Acknowledgement of Legitimacy of Computer Implemented Inventions §  Did not find software and/or business methods to be generally ineligible §  “There is no dispute that a computer is a tangible system…, or that many computer-implemented claims are formally addressed to patent-eligible subject matter.” 11
  12. 12. Patexia Webinar Need to Recite More Than Mere Computer §  “Stating an abstract idea while adding the words ‘apply it’ is not enough for patent eligibility. Nor is limiting the use of an abstract idea to a particular technological environment.” §  “[T]he mere recitation of a generic computer cannot transform a patent-ineligible abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.” §  “The introduction of a computer into the claims does not alter the analysis at Mayo step two.” 12
  13. 13. Patexia Webinar13 Examples of Abstract Ideas from Alice §  Fundamental economic practice long prevalent in our system of commerce §  Certain methods of organizing human activities §  An idea of itself §  Mathematical relationships/formulas 13
  14. 14. Patexia Webinar14 Significantly More Than Abstract Idea Itself §  Improvements to another technology or technical field §  Improvements to function of computer itself §  Application with or via particular machine §  Transformation to different state or thing §  Limitation not well-understood, routine, conventional 14
  15. 15. Patexia Webinar Agenda §  Introduction §  Alice §  Subsequent case law and patent examination §  Status §  Going forward 15
  16. 16. Patexia Webinar Subsequent Case Law 16
  17. 17. Patexia Webinar 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 *2015 District court 101 invalidity findings by termination date (*through 8/13/15) Source: Lex Machina, district court cases with at least one finding of invalidity under 101, filed on or after January 1, 2000. Bilski Mayo Alice Increasing §101 Invalidations 17
  18. 18. Patexia Webinar Lower Court Results §  Lower courts since Alice: ~65-75% invalidity rate on §101 grounds §  Federal Circuit since Alice: ~90-95% invalidity rate on §101 grounds §  DDR is the only computer implemented invention case since Alice in which the Federal Circuit upheld subject matter eligibility §  More dispositions on motion Source: Robert Sachs, Fenwick & West, Bilskiblog/Alicestorm 18
  19. 19. Patexia Webinar Are the Lower Court Results Deceptive? §  Computer implemented invention optimists argue technical patents are upheld in 2/3 of district court §101 decisions §  Higher rate of invalidity for business methods §  But what about the other 1/3 – why are those patents invalid? Source: D. Bartley Eppenauer, Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Law360, June 17, 2015 19
  20. 20. Patexia Webinar Which Is Patent Eligible Subject Matter? 20
  21. 21. Patexia Webinar None! 21 Rovi v Netflix Media Synch Across Devices Synopsis v Mentor Graphics Circuit Logic Synthesis for EDA Thales Visionix v USA Helmet Mounted Inertial Tracking
  22. 22. Patexia Webinar Thales Visionix v. USA and Elbit Systems (Ct. Fed. Clm. 2015) “[Regarding Alice Step 2] the system claim fails to transform the method claim into a patent-eligible invention. The plain language of Claim 1 describes generic, fungible inertial sensors that admittedly have already gained “widespread acceptance” in the field of motion tracking. Like the computer elements in Alice, these inertial trackers, when considered as an ordered combination in the claimed system, add nothing transformative to the patent. Although the concept of tracking the motion of a moving object relative to a moving reference frame may have been novel and nonobvious, the claimed system does nothing to ground this abstract idea in a specific way. The claims allow for the application of the navigation equation in almost endless environments, and are not limited to a fighter jet and a pilot’s helmet.” 22
  23. 23. Patexia Webinar Lingering Case Law Issues §  Conflation of 35 USC §101 v. §102/103/112 §  Preemption v. parsing v. as a whole §  Hindsight §  Consistency 23
  24. 24. Patexia Webinar Subsequent USPTO Activity 24
  25. 25. Patexia Webinar Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) §  Glass half full or half empty? §  Same aggressive results used by both optimists and pessimists §  Demonstration of prevalence of bad patents v. hostile patent environment §  Not necessarily the product of Alice 25
  26. 26. Patexia Webinar Rate of §101 Rejections in Patent Examination Over Time Source: Robert Sachs, Fenwick & West, Bilskiblog/Alicestorm 26 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Jan-12 Oct-12 Aug-13 May-14 Jul-14 Feb-15 Mar-15 Apr-15 May-15 2100-Comp. Arch 3600-Trans, E-Comm
  27. 27. Patexia Webinar USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines §  Focus on each individual claim as a whole §  Prima facie case must be clearly articulated §  Ineligibility conclusion may be supported by general knowledge (examiner notice) – rejection must include reasons but not necessarily evidence 27
  28. 28. Patexia Webinar USPTO Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines §  Aspirationally appropriate §  Collaborative and iterative §  Continuing examiner education §  Collecting and posting examples 28
  29. 29. Patexia Webinar How Many Examples Are Needed? 29
  30. 30. Patexia Webinar Lingering Issues in Patent Examination §  Examiners just as confused as everyone else §  Examples focus on what is not eligible §  Form paragraph rejections lack specificity (and lack evidence and consistency) §  Just how is ineligibility properly demonstrated? §  After Alice – IBM survey indicates modest examination improvement – OPQA indicates no increase in examiner errors §  Lack of clarity in Alice will likely impact efficiency 30
  31. 31. Patexia Webinar Agenda §  Introduction §  Alice §  Subsequent case law and patent examination §  Status §  Going forward 31
  32. 32. Patexia Webinar Summary of Case Law for Patent Eligibility of Computer Implemented Inventions 32 Cases Before Alice Cases After Alice
  33. 33. Patexia Webinar Lack of Alignment 33 Courts PTAB Examiners
  34. 34. Patexia Webinar Where Are We Now? §  Warning: USPTO interpretation does not have force of law! §  Greater uncertainty §  §101 defense to assertions nearly automatic in impacted technologies §  More difficult to obtain and enforce patents – Reduced filing in most impacted technologies – Higher quality and lower volume of assertions and litigation 34
  35. 35. Patexia Webinar Computer ease of use working against patent eligibility? Inflection point on relative strength of geo patent systems? 35
  36. 36. Patexia Webinar Agenda §  Introduction §  Alice §  Subsequent case law and patent examination §  Status §  Going forward 36
  37. 37. Patexia Webinar Claiming Tips §  Focus claim language on technology, not business §  Avoid mere economic claim language §  Include more technical content and hardware in apps §  Emphasize improvement to computer §  Technical preambles? Bare bones preambles? §  Include dependent claims covering valuable specific embodiments §  M+F claims to incorporate disclosure into claims? 37
  38. 38. Patexia Webinar Prosecution Tips §  Interview early §  Delay prosecution §  Distinguish abstract idea from claims §  Ask for proof in response to examiner notice §  Leverage prior similar and desired results §  Consider reissue/reexamine to improve claims §  Keep pending continuations (hard to amend during PTAB challenge) 38
  39. 39. Patexia Webinar Litigation Tips §  Defendants – Alice adds significantly more to your defense! – Early PTAB challenges stay litigation §  Plaintiffs – Vet patents before assertion – Consider success of §101 defense in potential jurisdictions §  What if you are a defendant with a significant patent portfolio? 39
  40. 40. Patexia Webinar Remediation? §  Never-ending search for clarity goes on §  Other forms of IP are inadequate §  Alice cannot simply be ignored §  Another (clarifying) Supreme Court case? §  Legislation to clarify 35 USC §101? 40
  41. 41. Patexia Webinar Legislation? §  Better to do nothing? §  Codification of worst fears? §  Elimination of judicial exception never fully assured §  Need for community consensus §  Intersection with pending patent reform legislation and current Congressional climate 41
  42. 42. Patexia Webinar Principles For Potential Legislation §  Technology neutral §  Claim considered as a whole §  Independent of 35 USC §102, 103, and 112 42
  43. 43. Patexia Webinar Software Industry 43 Source: BSA
  44. 44. Patexia Webinar44 Thank You. Questions?

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