The Federal Circuit has issued its R.36 Affirmance Without Opinion in the eligibility dispute: Product Association Tech. v. Clique Media Group (Fed. Cir. 2018). In the case, C.D. Cal Judge Wu dismissed the case on the pleadings under R.12(b)(6) — finding that the claims of U.S. Patent 6,154,738 invalid as a matter of law on subject matter eligibility grounds. In particular, the court found that the claims are directed to the abstract idea of “locating and sending product information in response to a request” and fail to include anything beyond the excluded idea sufficient to transform the claims into a patent-eligible invention. I’ll note here that I believe the invention is the brain child of retired patent attorney Charles Call, and is part of a family of five patents.
Claim 1 is reproduced below
1. The method for disseminating product information via the Internet which comprises, in combination, the steps of:
establishing a cross-referencing resource connected to the Internet which includes a database containing a plurality of cross-references, each of said cross-references specifying the correspondence between a group of one or more universal product code values and the Internet address of a source of information which describes the products designated by said group of one or more code values,
transmitting via the Internet a Web page containing at least one hyperlink including a reference to separately stored information, said reference including a particular universal product code value that uniquely designates a selected product,
employing a Web browser program to receive said Web page and display said Web page to a user,
further employing said Web browser to respond to the activation of said hyperlink by said user by transmitting a first request message to said cross-referencing resource, said first request message containing at least a portion of said particular universal product code value,
processing said first request message at said cross-referencing resource by referring to said database to identify the particular Internet address which corresponds to said particular universal product code value and returning a redirection message to said Web browser which contains said particular Internet address;
employing said Web browser to automatically respond to said redirection message by transmitting a second request message to said particular Internet address;
employing a Web server connected to the Internet at said particular Internet address to respond to said second request message by returning product information describing said selected product to said Web browser, and
employing said Web browser program to automatically display said product information from said Web server to said user.