Claim 1. A device profile for describing properties of a device in a digital image reproduction system to capture, transform or render an image, said device profile comprising:
first data for describing a device dependent transformation of color information content of the image to a device independent color space; and
second data for describing a device dependent transformation of spatial information content of the image in said device independent color space.
Claim 10. A method of generating a device profile that describes properties of a device in a digital image reproduction system for capturing, transforming or rendering an image, said method comprising:
generating first data for describing a device dependent transformation of color information content of the image to a device independent color space through use of measured chromatic stimuli and device response characteristic functions; generating second data for describing a device dependent transformation of spatial information content of the image in said device independent color space through use of spatial stimuli and device response characteristic functions; and
combining said first and second data into the device profile.
Appeals from United States District Court for the Central District of California, Otis D. Wright, II, J., 2013 WL 3947120, 2013 WL 3947137, 2013 WL 3947139, 2013 WL 3947158, and 2013 WL 3946579.
Abstract Idea: Yes/No
Undecided for device claims
The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s determination that the device profile described in the ′415 patent was “not a tangible or physical thing and thus does not fall within any of the categories of eligible subject matter. Independent claims 1 and 26 [described] a device profile as a collection of information; specifically, a description of a device dependent transformation of spatial and color information.”
The patent owner argued the device profile claims were subject matter eligible because they disclosed “hardware or software within a digital image processing system” and existed as a tag file appended to a digital image. The Federal Circuit disagreed, however, finding that position was not supported by the claim language, which did not describe “the device profile as a tag or any other embodiment of hardware or software.” The Federal Circuit further stated “[d]ata in its ethereal, non-physical form is simply information that does not fall under any of the categories of eligible subject matter under section 101.”
The Mayo/Alice two-step framework was not addressed because the device claims at issue were not directed to one of the statutory categories of eligible subject matter.
Yes for method claims
The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s Step One determination that the method described in the ′415 patent was an abstract idea. Specifically, the Federal Circuit found the method claims were directed to “a process of taking two data sets and combining them into a single data set, the device profile. The two data sets are generated by taking existing information—i.e., measured chromatic stimuli, spatial stimuli, and device response characteristic functions—and organizing this information into a new form,” thereby resulting in “an ineligible abstract process of gathering and combining data that does not require input from a physical device.”
Something More: N/A
Undecided for device claims
No for method claims
The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s Step Two determination that there was nothing more in the method claims that would result in patent eligibility. Contrary to the patent owner’s argument, nothing in the claim language expressly tied the “method to an image processor.” The Federal Circuit noted that the method claims “generically recite[d] a process of combining two data sets into a device profile; it [did] not claim the processor’s use of that profile in the capturing, transforming, or rendering of a digital image.” The Federal Circuit further noted that the “only mention of a ‘digital image reproduction system’” was in the claim’s preamble, and it was not limiting. As a result, the Federal Circuit did not decide whether tying the method to an image processor would lead it to find that the claims were directed to patent eligible subject matter under Mayo/Alice.