Patent Riffs – McRO Links

The Federal Circuit issued the opinion for McRO v. Bandai in a long-awaited appeal decision regarding patent eligibility under Alice. The Court found the two lip-syncing patents as drawn to eligible subject matter giving software developers some optimism and precedent in their fight against Alice. The following links are insightful on the matter:

McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2016) | PATENTDOCS.ORG
“Notably, the Court disagreed with the District Court’s conclusion that the claims are ‘drawn to the [abstract] idea of automated rules-based use of morph targets and delta sets for lip-synchronized three-dimensional animation.’ The Court criticized this characterization as oversimplifying and ‘failing to account for the specific requirements of the claims.’ To that point, the Court pointed out that the claims ‘define a morph weight set stream as a function of phoneme sequence and times associated with said phoneme sequence’ and ‘require applying said first set of rules to each sub-sequence . . . of timed phonemes.’ The Court implied that the District Court had improperly ignored these elements.”

Step-One: Don’t Assume an Abstract Idea | PATENTLYO
“One problem with the two step framework is based upon the fact that all inventions can be boiled down to an ineligible abstract idea.In Mayo, the Supreme Court recognized this risk in its statement that “all inventions at some level embody, use, reflect, rest upon, or apply laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas.” This starting point, risks removing any teeth from Alice/Mayo Step-1. The Federal Circuit, however, has refused to follow that pathway but instead has set down precedent that courts “must be careful to avoid oversimplifying the claims” in seeking a gist or abstraction. TLI Commc’ns.”

The CAFC finally issues the Planet Blue decision and it’s good news for US software patent owners | IAM-MEDIA
“This involved two patents relating to lip synchronisation which had been ruled invalid on Section 101 grounds by the Central California district court months after the Supreme Court handed down its controversial Alice decison in June 2014. Owners of software patents in the US were hopuing that the CAFC would use this case to provide more clarity on the thorny subject of eligibility, and it looks like that has happened. ”

Animation patent saved, software makers exhale | MOBILE.REUTERS
“A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived a patent on 3D animation technology, whose previous cancellation by a lower court judge had prompted some software makers to warn that the decision put their industry at risk.”