Patent Riffs and Links – Quantum Stream 101 Dismissal

The court granted a motion to dismiss under 12(b)(6), finding the claims of three asserted patents invalid under § 101 in Quantum Stream Inc. v. Charter Communications, Inc., No. 17 Civ. 1696 (SDNY March 1, 2018) (J. Englemayer).

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“Representative claims of each of the three patents are reproduced in the court’s opinion and can be found at the above links; each of the claims was directed to selecting an advertisement and inserting it into a ‘vacancy in video content. Finding the 2015 Federal Circuit decision in Intellectual Ventures v. Capital One to be a particularly applicable case, the court found the claims of all three patents to be ‘drawn to the patent-ineligible abstract idea of customized advertising, in which a unification of primary content and secondary advertising content is delivered to a consumer based upon various potential functions.”

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Ad targeting – Applying the two-step Alice/Mayo framework, the court first found the patents-in-suit to broadly claim the abstract idea of “computerized methods of pairing secondary content with a user’s selection of primary content,” an idea which courts have often held to be abstract. The court rejected Quantum’s argument that the patents presented a “paradigm shift” by providing real-time insertion of advertisements, instead of “preinserted” ads. Instead, the court found that the patents “describe the familiar and unremarkable process of matching secondary advertising content with primary content so as to provide a unified (tailored) presentation to the particular user”… Moving to the second step of the Mayo/Alice inquiry…The court found that this was merely a straightforward implementation of the benefits of an abstract idea, and insufficient to constitute an inventive concept. That the claims contemplated “real-time” insertion of customizable advertising content and that it happen via generic computer functionality were likewise insufficient to constitute inventive concepts.

Asserted Claims of Digital Advertising Distribution Patents Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101 | DOCKETREPORT.BLOGSPOT
Docket Report Blog: “[Plaintiff] argues that its patents constitute a ‘paradigm shift, causing ad systems to behave in an unconventional manner’ by providing for real-time insertion of advertisements, selected on attributes or other criteria, instead of ‘preinserted’ ads that result in all consumers viewing the same advertising content. . . . [T]he claims of the three patents are directed to an ineligible abstract idea: specifically, custom advertising based upon consumer qualities or other data. . . . The different patents and claims envision different arrangements of generic computers to implement this concept in different ways. But, at bottom, they do not represent or describe improvements in computing systems, specific new software or hardware or technology, or some other type of computing method that improves the computer’s functionality or makes it more efficient, such as an information ‘structure designed to improve the way a computer stores and retrieves data in memory.”