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Intellectual Ventures I LLC, v. Ricoh Americas Corporation and Ricoh Electronics, Inc.

Representative Claim

  1. An image scanning method for a scanner, the method comprising the steps of:

determining a driving signal, a triggering signal, and a number of rotation steps according to a predetermined resolution, wherein a period TG of the triggering signal equals a period TM of the driving signal multiplied by the number of rotation steps N within the period TG ;

driving a motor by the driving signal;

outputting an image signal by the triggering signal; and

storing the image signal within the period of the triggering signal.

Posture:

Motion for 12(c) judgment on the pleadings.

Abstract Idea: No

Ricoh argues that the 761 patent “simply claims an unpatentable mathematical formula used in a generic prior art scanner,” which formula can be performed mentally or with a pen and paper. (D.l. 71 at 11) IV responds that the asserted claims are directed to “methods of operating a scanner using signals that control the operation of the image sensor and the stepper motor. The signals have a fixed relationship between their periods such that they allow a scanner motor to rotate faster, hence allowing for improved image scanning speeds.” (D.l. 81 at 6) The asserted claims include steps for determining the parameters (which meet a certain mathematical formula) and applying such parameters to operate a scanner. Alice, 134 S.Ct. at 2354 (“[A]n invention is not rendered ineligible for patent simply because it involves an abstract concept.”). The court concludes that such claims do not claim the mathematical formula nor do they seek to simply “implement” such a formula, therefore, the claims are not directed to an abstract idea.

Something More: Yes

For completeness, the court turns to step two of the Alice framework. … the claimed solution is described with enough specificity to place meaningful boundaries on the inventive concept, so as to foreclose pre-emption concerns that the patent “would risk disproportionately tying up the use of the underlying ideas.” Alice, 134 S.Ct. at 2354; Mayo, 132 S.Ct. at 1294.