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Ancora Technologies, Inc. v. HTC America, Inc.

Computer Security Methods Held Non-Abstract

Ancora Technologies, Inc. v. HTC America, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 6005021 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 16, 2018) (Dyk, Wallach, TARANTO) (W.D. Wash.: Jones) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir reverses Rule 12 dismissal based on § 101 patent ineligibility. Ancora’s patent claimed methods of limiting a computer’s running of software not authorized for that computer to run. Per Enfish, 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016), Ancora’s claims were not directed to an abstract idea at step one of the Alice test. 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014). The opinion recites recent cases applying Alice step one to computer-oriented inventions. “Improving security—here, against a computer’s unauthorized use of a program—can be a non-abstract computer-functionality improvement if done by a specific technique that departs from earlier approaches to solve a specific computer problem.” Op. at *4.

KEYWORDS: SECTION 101; SUBJECT-MATTER ELIGIBILITY; ABSTRACT IDEA (NO)