Volume 47, Issue 3
NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
Enfish
and
TLI
: A Study of the Federal Circuit’s Recent Section 101 Opinions
Like a ray of light at the end of a long dark tunnel, the Federal Circuit’s recent reversal of a determination of patent ineligibility in
Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp.
offered patentees facing
Alice
complications a glimmer of hope. Reaction by the patent bar was swift. Notices of additional authority and requests for reconsideration were submitted to district courts around the country. Commentary has already been posted to the internet hailing Enfish as a long-awaited clarification of
Alice
. The USPTO even issued a
Memorandum of guidance
regarding Enfish to the Examining Corps following the Federal Circuit’s decision, which was written by Circuit Judge Hughes. However, less than a week after Enfish, the Federal Circuit, with Circuit Judge Hughes again as author, issued an opinion in
In re TLI Communications LLC Patent Litigation
in which the court appeared to return to a pre-Enfish approach. The
TLI
opinion addresses Enfish and offers a narrow distinction between the two cases. It remains to be seen whether the carve-out announced in Enfish is sound and will withstand scrutiny, or whether Enfish will bring more confusion than clarification to the
Alice
landscape. The Supreme Court’s
Alice
decision gave little specific guidance to district courts on applying its two-step eligibility test. At the Federal Circuit Judicial Conference in Washington, D.C. in April, Judge Gilstrap commented that “
[i]t’s a challenge to interpret the court’s analysis and apply it faithfully.
” After several years in which software patents have routinely been deemed patent ineligible, patentees hope that Enfish will provide much needed direction about the application of
Alice
. However, when Enfish and
TLI
are read together, that proposition appears in doubt.
Enfish
. In
Enfish
, the plaintiff below asserted U.S. Patent Nos.
6,151,604
and
6,163,775
, both of which are directed to a particular logical model for a computer database. In contrast to a relational database model that uses relationships between multiple tables to store various fields of information, the asserted patents disclosed a self-referential model in which all data entities are in a single table, and the column definitions are provided by the rows. An example of such a self-referential table is shown below:
Published by the BPLA with the author’s and Fish & Richardson’s permission. This article appeared on
Fish & Richardson’s Litigation blog
on
May 31, 2016
.
Index
Table of Contents
President's Message by Erik Belt
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Check Yo’self Before You Wreck Yo’self (or Your Sequence Listing)
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< Back
Message from the Editor-in-Chief
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Cuozzo
: The Case that Wasn’t
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Annual Dinner to Honor the Federal Judiciary an Evening Enjoyed by the Bench, Bar, and Guests
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Patent Agent Privilege in the United States and Canada
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Enfish and TLI:
A Study of the Federal Circuit’s Recent Section 101 Opinions
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USPTO Launches Pilot Program for Early Review of Cancer Immunotherapy Patent Applications
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Federal Circuit Finds
BASCOM
Internet Content Filtering Claims Patent Eligible
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Invented Here!
- 2016 - Highlighting New England’s Innovators
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BPLA Files Amicus Brief in Support of Sequenom’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari
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Writing Competition
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Halo
Decision Regarding the Standard for Willfulness
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Members on the Move
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Reasonable Royalties and the Federal Circuit in 2015: Evolution of the Revolution
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Community Calendar
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