Main Menu

The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of Amazon’s motion to dismiss for failure to recite patent eligible subject matter under section 101.  The claims at issue related to a method of pricing a product for sale which included the steps of testing a plurality of prices, gathering statistics regarding the consumers’ response to the prices, using that data to estimate sales outcomes, and automatically selecting a new price based on the estimated outcome.  The court held that the concept of offer-based price optimization is similar to other “fundamental economic concepts” found to be abstract ideas in other cases.  Moreover, the court found that the claims merely recite “well-understood, routine conventional activities,” either by requiring conventional computer activities or routine data-gathering steps and thus fail to transform the claimed abstract idea into a patent-eligible application.”  The claims were “exceptionally broad” and the specification broadly described the programming and hardware as “any sequence of instructions designed for execution on a computer system.”  Judge Mayer provided a concurring opinion to commend the district court for adhering to the Supreme Court’s instructions that patent eligibility is a “threshold” issue and deciding this matter early in the case on a motion to dismiss. 

OIP Technologies, Inc. v., Inc., Case No. 2012-1696 (June 11, 2015); Opinion by: Hughes, joined by Taranto, concurring opinion by Mayer; Appealed From: District Court for the Northern District of California, Chen, J.  Read the full opinion here

Back to Page