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Collarity, Inc. v. Google Inc

Representative Claim

  1. A computer-implemented method comprising:

receiving, by a search system, from a user a search query comprising keywords;

using at least one association graph comprising keywords, identifying, by the search system, one or more suggested replacement keywords for one or more of the keywords of the search query;

presenting the suggested replacement keywords to the user;

responsively to a selection of one of the suggested replacement keywords by the user, substituting, by the search system, the selected suggested replacement keyword for the corresponding one of the keywords of the search query, to generate a refined search query; and

presenting search results to the user responsively to the refined search query,

wherein identifying the one or more suggested replacement keywords comprises:

designating, by the search system, one or more of the keywords of the search query as anchor keywords, and the remaining keywords of the search query as non-anchor keywords; and

identifying, by the search system, the one or more suggested replacement keywords for one or more of the non-anchor keywords and not for any of the anchor keywords.

Posture:

Summary Judgment for patent ineligibility under 35 USC § 101.

Abstract Idea: Yes

[T]he ‘855 patent attempts to claim a basic goal of human communication and inquiry: how to improve the question being asked in order to increase the likelihood of obtaining the desired information. … Collarity argues the asserted claims are not directed to an abstract idea. It states the claims of the ‘855 patent are directed to improving computerized searches. …

The court disagrees with Collarity that the claims are limited to use on a specific computer. In construing the phrase “designating, by the search system, one or more keywords as anchor keywords and the remaining keywords as non-anchor keywords,” Collarity proposed the court construe the phrase as written, and the court did so. Collarity did not seek to inject its current position, that the “search system” is a particular computer that performs the asserted claims, in its proposed construction; it instead relied on the plain meaning of that term.

The court again agrees with Google; the asserted claims are directed to an abstract idea known outside of a computer or Internet context and could be practiced using only the human mind.

Something More: No

The court disagrees with Collarity that the ‘855 claims address a problem “necessarily rooted in computer technology in order to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks” and are thus valid under DDR Holdings. Independent claim 1 is not rooted in computer technology; other than stating the method is “computer-implemented” in the non-limiting preamble, it has no computer requirements. An noted above, claim 1 recites a method with certain steps, such as “receiving” a search query and “presenting search results,” but imposes no tangible limitations on those steps. Nor do the claims mention the “Internet” or address any problem unique to Internet searching.