I’m sure Dennis will do his usual magic, but Cyberphone Sys., LLC v. CNN Interactive (Fed. Cir. Feb. 26, 2014) is a prime example of the silliness of this judicial activism. The case is available here.
Here is the claim:
A method, comprising:
obtaining data transaction information en- tered on a telephone from a single trans- mission from said telephone;
forming a plurality of different exploded data transactions for the single transmission, said plurality of different exploded data transaction[s] indicative of a single data transaction, each of said exploded data transactions having different data that is intended for a different destination that is included as part of the exploded data transactions, and each of said exploded data transactions formed based on said data transaction information from said single transmission, so that different data from the single data transmission is separated and sent to different destinations; and
sending said different exploded data transac- tions over a channel to said different desti- nations, all based on said data transaction information entered in said single trans- mission.
What’s my gripe? First, the court says Section 101 “impliedly bars” certain subject matter. I won’t bore you by repeating the post below about the plain language and legislative history of that section, which shows no such language or intent.
More importantly, because the method claim — which expressly recites physical objects — “involves an abstract idea,” the court says section 101 is implicated. The “abstract idea” is “using categories to organize, store, and transmit information.”
Okay… but someone identify for me a method claim that does not “involve” an abstract idea (or mental step or natural phenom or natural law or…).
Now, because the claim “involves” an “abstract idea,” the court says that it’s not enough that this abstract idea can’t be performed by a human being. Instead, the court concludes that the claim covers the practical idea itself even though the claim is limited to organizing data and so on using telephones. Why? In part because you can use pretty much any telephone.
Okay… so what method claim is eligible? If it “involves” an abstract idea (whatever that is), and uses “conventional” things, nope. Even if it changes the world… not eligible.
This sort of “reasoning” is not very helpful.