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SAP America v. Investpic

Representative Claim

1. A method for calculating, analyzing and displaying investment data comprising the steps of:

(a) selecting a sample space, wherein the sample space includes at least one investment data sample;
(b) generating a distribution function using a re-sampled statistical method and a bias parameter, wherein the bias parameter determines a degree of randomness in a resampling process; and
(c) generating a plot of the distribution function.

11. A method for providing statistical analysis of investment data over an information network, comprising the steps of:

(a) storing investment data pertaining to at least one investment;
(b) receiving a statistical analysis request corresponding to a selected investment;
(c) receiving a bias parameter, wherein the bias parameter determines a degree of randomness in a resampling process; and
(d) based upon investment data pertaining to the selected investment, performing a resampled statistical analysis to generate a resampled distribution.

22. A system for providing statistical analysis of investment information over an information network comprising:

a financial data database for storing investment data;
a client database;
a plurality of processors collectively arranged to perform a parallel processing computation, wherein the plurality of processors is adapted to:

receive a statistical analysis request corresponding to a selected investment;
based upon investment data pertaining to the selected investment, perform a resampled statistical analysis to generate a resampled distribution; and
provide a report of the resampled distribution.

Posture:

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in No. 3:16-cv-02689-K, Judge Ed Kinkeade.

Abstract Idea: Yes

The Federal Circuit confirmed the District Court’s Step One determination that “[t]he focus of the claims . . . is on selecting certain information, analyzing it using mathematical techniques, and reporting or displaying the results of the analysis. That is all abstract.” In explanation, the opinion states:

“We have explained that claims focused on ‘collecting information, analyzing it, and displaying certain results of the collection and analysis’ are directed to an abstract Idea . . . ‘Information as such is an intangible,’ hence abstract, and ‘collecting information, including when limited to particular content (which does not change its character as information), [i]s within the realm of abstract ideas’ . . . So, too, is ‘analyzing information . . . by mathematical algorithms, without more’ . . . And ‘merely presenting the results of abstract processes of collecting and analyzing information, without more (such as identifying a particular tool for presentation), is abstract as an ancillary part of such collection and analysis’ . . . The claims here are directed at abstract ideas under those principles.

Contrary to [Defendant’s] suggestion, it does not matter to this conclusion whether the information here is information about real investments. As many cases make clear, even if a process of collecting and analyzing information is ‘limited to particular content’ or a particular ‘source,’ that limitation does not make the collection and analysis other than abstract . . . Moreover, the ‘investment’ character of this information simply invokes a separate category of abstract ideas involved in Alice and many of our cases—‘the creation and manipulation of legal obligations such as contracts involved in fundamental economic practices.’”

Something More: No

The Federal Circuit also confirmed the District Court’s Step Two determination that “there is nothing in the claims sufficient to remove them from the class of subject matter ineligible for patenting and transform them into an eligible application.” In explanation, the opinion states:

“Here, all of the claim details identified by [Defendant]—including in the claims that emerged from reexamination—fall into one or both of two categories: they are themselves abstract; or there are no factual allegations from which one could plausibly infer that they are inventive . . . We have already noted that limitation of the claims to a particular field of information—here, investment information—does not move the claims out of the realm of abstract ideas.

Some of the claims require various databases and processors, which are in the physical realm of things. But it is clear, from the claims themselves and the specification, that these limitations require no improved computer resources [Defendant] claims to have invented, just already available computers, with their already available basic functions, to use as tools in executing the claimed process. Although counsel for [Defendant] contended at oral argument that the inclusion of a ‘parallel processing’ computing architecture in claim 22 (now also in added claims 32–40) should render the claim patent eligible . . . neither the claims nor the specification call for any parallel processing architectures different from those available in existing systems. Rather, to the extent that parallel processing is discussed in the specification, it is characterized as generic parallel processing components—not even asserted to be an invention of [Defendant]—on which the claimed method could run.

In accordance with the Supreme Court’s conclusion in Alice, 134 S. Ct. at 2358–59, this court has ruled many times that ‘such invocations of computers and networks that are not even arguably inventive are insufficient to pass the test of an inventive concept in the application of an abstract idea’ . . . Under those decisions, an invocation of such computers and networks is not enough to establish the required ‘inventive concept’ in application. Indeed, we think it fair to say that an invocation of already-available computers that are not themselves plausibly asserted to be an advance, for use in carrying out improved mathematical calculations, amounts to a recitation of what is ‘well-understood, routine, [and] conventional’ . . . There is, in short, nothing ‘inventive’ about any claim details, individually or in combination, that are not themselves in the realm of abstract ideas. In the absence of the required ‘inventive concept’ in application, the claims here are legally equivalent to claims simply to the asserted advance in the realm of abstract ideas—an advance in mathematical techniques in finance.”