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SAP America, Inc. v. InvestPic, LLC

Claims to Financial Analysis Techniques Held Patent-Ineligible

SAP America, Inc. v. InvestPic, LLC, __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 2207254 (Fed. Cir. May 15, 2018) (Lourie, O’Malley, TARANTO) (N.D. Tex.: Kinkeade) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir affirms judgment on the pleadings of invalidity due to § 101 subject-matter ineligibility. InvestPic’s claims related to statistical analysis of investment information. The opinion applies the two-step test of Alice, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014). InvestPic’s claims are directed to abstract ideas because they focus on “selecting certain information, analyzing it using mathematical techniques, and reporting or displaying the results of that analysis.” Op. at 8. InvestPic’s claims are distinct from the claims in McRO, 837 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2016), because the McRO claims were “directed to the creation of something physical” in the form of improved lip sync for animated characters, and because the McRO claims were specific in their recitation of how to achieve the result. Id. at 9. The opinion also distinguishes Thales, 850 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2017), as involving claims with a “physical-realm improvement,” and not wholly abstract ideas. That the underlying information was about investments does not make them less abstract. Nor were InvestPic’s claims directed to improvements in computer operation, as in Enfish, 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016). At Alice step two, InvestPic’s claims included no inventive concept sufficient to make them patent-eligible. InvestPic’s claims require “no improved computer resources InvestPic claims to have invented, just already available computers, with their already available basic functions, to use as tools in executing the claimed process.” Op. at 12.

KEYWORDS: PATENTABLE SUBJECT MATTER (NO); JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS