by Dennis Crouch

A new petition for writ of certiorari focuses consideration again on patent eligibility and the legislation-reality interaction. Serious Estate Alliance Ltd. v. Move, Inc., SCT Docket No. 18-252.

The authentic target of patent legislation is to “promote the Progress of . . . valuable Arts.”  In that vein, patents have lengthy been awarded for inventions with concrete and useful takes advantage of — and barred to invention statements that are basically abstract suggestions.

In Mayo and Alice, the Supreme Court defined a two-action system for pinpointing when a claimed invention is patent suitable:

Step 1: Talk to no matter whether the patent statements are directed to a patent ineligible concept, this kind of as a legislation of mother nature, natural phenomenon, or abstract concept.

Step 2: If so, talk to no matter whether the claimed invention consists of an “inventive concept” enough to change the ineligible concept into a patent suitable invention.

In Step 2, the Supreme Court also recommended an inquiry into no matter whether the statements existing “something more” outside of a mixture of “well recognized, program, and conventional” aspects.

In this circumstance, Serious Estate Alliance Ltd. focuses on this second section of the Alice check and the “proper function of reality-locating.”  The query presented is:

Is no matter whether an ordered mixture of aspects in a patent claim is “well-recognized, program and conventional” to a competent artisan in the applicable subject below Alice action two a query of reality?

In this distinct circumstance, the courts have seen this difficulty as a query of legislation and have not genuinely regarded any really hard proof.  The patent at difficulty is directed to a user interface that reveals the geographic area of for-sale homes — using a zoomable interface.  Though this concept may appear to be properly recognized nowadays — the application statements priority again to 1986 — graphics had been not so effortless again then. (See Conan – my favored game again then). U.S. Patent No. 5,032,989.

The problem for the patentee – I expect – is that the patent statements just appear to be so clear. Consider representative claim 1 under:

1. A technique using a laptop or computer for finding offered actual estate homes comprising the techniques of:

a) creating a databases of the offered actual estate homes

b) displaying a map of a desired geographic location

c) picking out a initially location possessing boundaries within just the geographic location

d) zooming in on the initially location of the displayed map to about the boundaries of the initially location to show a increased amount of element than the displayed map

e) displaying the zoomed initially location

f) picking out a second location possessing boundaries within just the zoomed initially location

g) displaying the second location and a plurality of details within just the second location, just about every level representing the acceptable geographic area of an offered actual estate assets and

h) determining offered actual estate homes within just the databases which are positioned within just the second location.


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