This section contains summaries of some of the August 2020 decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) concerning 35 U.S.C. Section 101, which sets forth the four categories of patent-eligible subject matter: process, machines, manufactures, and compositions of matter.
Ex Parte Tse; 8/12/2020; TC 2400; Real party in interest, Airwatch LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of VMware, Inc. The claimed invention generally related to controlling physical access to a location by providing physical asset credentials to a client device. The client device, which could be a laptop computer, a cell phone, or similar, stored a device identifier and user access credentials. The device identifier could be a unique hardware identifier such as a MAC (media access control) address or a CPU (central processing unit) ID. The user access credentials could include a username, password, and/or biometric data. The client could communicate with a server to receive a security identifier corresponding to approved user access credentials and/or approved device identifiers. Such a security identifier could have been encoded as a hash at the server, and decoded at the client device. The client device could send a request to a physical access point, which could be an electromechanical device capable of receiving and sending information, and additionally having a physical lock actuator to open a physical barrier. For example, a door could have a signal transceiver that, in response to signals from a laptop, actuated a solenoid to physically unlock the door. Section 101 rejections affirmed.
Ex Parte Sheppard et al; 8/4/2020; TC 3600; Real party in interest, The Nielsen Company (US), LLC. Request for Rehearing. The claimed invention related to “audience measurement entities [that] determine audience engagement levels for media based on registered panel members.” The Preamble of claim 1 recited a method to correct for deterioration of a demographic model to associate demographic information with media impression information. Section 101 rejections affirmed. Request for Rehearing denied.
Ex Parte Pechenik et al; 8/3/2020; TC 3600; Real party in interest, YellowJacket, Inc. Request for Rehearing. The claimed invention involved converting a trade transaction agreement into allowable structured products. The Preamble of claim 1 recited a computer-implemented method of electronically converting a data set into a plurality of data subsets that are each compatible for processing by at least one from among multiple processing facilities. Section 101 rejections affirmed. Request for Rehearing denied.
Ex Parte Srinivas et al; 8/3/2020; TC 3600; Real party in interest, MEDECISION, INC. The claimed subject matter “relates generally to medical analysis and treatment, and more specifically to a care planning tool for medical analysis and treatment that does not require formalistic question and answer processes that can impede patient care and which also significantly increase processor and communications workload.” Section 101 rejections of claims 1-20 affirmed as being directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. Section 101 rejections of claims 1-10 and 20 REVERSED as being directed to non-statutory subject matter (the claims recited a structural element—a processor—that was proper subject matter).