Does Presumption of Patent Validity Extend to Eligibility?

A plaintiff seeking to enforce patents claiming automated methods for uploading multimedia content was ordered to pay defendants’ attorney fees based on a finding of an “exceptional case” under U.S.C. § 285.  Cellspin Soft, Inc. v. Fitbit, Inc., No. 4:17-CV-5928-YGR (N.D. Cal. July 6, 2018).  The court had previously granted motions to dismiss because claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,738,794; 8,892,752; 9,749,847; and 9,258,698 were not patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the Alice/Mayo test.  Relying on Inventor Holdings, LLC v. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2017), the court found the case exceptional because the claims were not only “manifestly directed to an abstract idea,” but, unlike the Inventors Holdings litigation, were sought to be enforced after a lot of post-Alice precedent should have made clear that the claims were patent-ineligible. The plaintiff’s main basis for opposing the fee award was…

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