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Customedia Technologies, LLC v. Dish Network Corp.

Computer System Claims Neither Enhancing Speed Nor Solving Technological Problems Held Patent-Ineligible

Customedia Technologies, LLC v. Dish Network Corp., __ F.3d __, 2020 WL ___ (Fed. Cir. Mar. 6, 2020) (Prost, Dyk, MOORE) (PTAB) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir affirms CBM determinations of § 101 patent ineligibility. Customedia’s patents relate to data management and processing systems usable in the transmission of advertising data for a set-top boxes. At Alice step one, Customedia’s claims are directed to an abstract idea, and not a patent-eligible improvement to computer functionality. The opinion discusses a series of opinions assessing whether an invention addresses an improvement in computer functionality, including Enfish, 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016); Visual Memory, 867 F.3d 1253 (Fed. Cir. 2017); Koninklijke KPN, 942 F.3d 1143 (Fed. Cir. 2019); Ancora Technologies, 908 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2018); Finjan, 879 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2018); and Data Engine Technologies, 906 F.3d 999 (Fed. Cir. 2018). It reasons that, to be a patent-eligible improvement in computer technology, “the claims must be directed to an improvement in the functionality of the computer or network platform itself.” Op. at 11. Because Customedia’s claims did not “enable computers to operate any more quickly, nor do they solve any technological problem,” they were “at most an improvement to the abstract concept of targeted advertising wherein a computer is merely used as a tool.” Id.

At Alice step two, the elements of Customedia’s claims, “considered individually and as an ordered combination, fail to recite an inventive concept.” Id. At 12.

KEYWORDS: COVERED BUSINESS METHOD; PATENTABLE SUBJECT MATTER (NO)