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Zuili v. Google

Representative Claim

The ’056 Patent

  1. A method for identifying invalid click(s) by a system including at least one web page on a server side computing device, the at least web page providing a plurality of links associated with a plurality of other web pages associated with a plurality of merchants, the method comprising the steps of:

generating a first code on the server side computing device, the first code identifying at least one device on a client side;

sending said first code to said at least one device over a communication network;

obtaining from the device on the client side, a second code when said at least one user performs a first click on at least one of said links associated with at least one of said other web pages at a first time;

obtaining from the device on the client side, a third code when said at least one user performs a second click on said at least one link associated with said at least one other web page at a second time; and

determining, by the server side computing device, whether said second click is invalid by examining a difference between said first time and said second time.

The ’667 Patent

  1. A method for detecting fraudulent activity in a pay-per-click system, comprising:

a) providing a search engine on a server side;
b) receiving, at said server side, a search request from a client;
c) generating a unique code on the server side, for identifying said client;
d) transmitting said code to said client from the server side;
e) transmitting to said client from the server side, in response to said search request, a plurality of links associated with a plurality of websites associated with a plurality of merchants;
f) generating website information regarding a website selected by the client when said client clicks one of said plurality of links;
g) transmitting said code and said website information together from said client to said server side;
h) receiving said code and said website information at the server side, and detecting fraudulent activity by measuring the duration between clicks by said client to said selected website by examining said code and website information.

The ’763 Patent

  1. A method for detecting fraudulent activity in a pay-per-click system, comprising:

a) providing a pay-per-click engine on a server side;
b) receiving, at said server side, a request from a client;
c) generating a unique code on the server side, for identifying said client;
d) transmitting said code to said client from the server side;
e) transmitting to said client from the server side, in response to said request, one or more links associated with one or more websites associated with one or more merchants;
f) generating website information regarding a website selected by the client when said client clicks one of said links;
g) transmitting said code and said website information together from said client to said server side;
h) receiving said code and said website information at the server side, and detecting fraudulent activity by measuring the duration between clicks by said client to said selected website by examining said code and website information.

Posture:

Appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. CBM2016-00008, CBM2016-00021, CBM2016-00022.

Abstract Idea: Yes

The Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s Step One finding that the claims were directed to “the abstract idea of collecting, transmitting, analyzing, and storing data to detect fraudulent and/or invalid clicks based on the time between two requests by the same device or client.”  The Federal Circuit stated that it had previously determined similar claims to be directed to patent-ineligible subject matter (citing Elec. Power Grp., LLC v. Alstom S.A., 830 F.3d 1350, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2016); In re TLI Commc’ns LLC Patent Litig., 823 F.3d 607, 609).

Something More: No

The Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s Step Two finding that the claims on appeal did not recite an inventive concept.  In particular, the circuit court opined that the claims “merely requir[ed] generic computer implementation” of an abstract idea and, therefore, “[did] not move into § 101 eligibility territory.”