Patently-O Bits and Bytes by Juvan Bonni

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2 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits and Bytes by Juvan Bonni

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    Somewhat off topic, but I was reminded of Judge Michel’s article linked above as I was reading this morning’s Rule 36 affirmance in In re Google. This was an appeal from the PTAB following a rejection in ex parte prosecution. The rejected claim reads:

    1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:
    for each of a plurality of images uploaded to a social stream of an electronic social network via a first user interface by a user of a predetermined group of users sharing a common connection in the social network, automatically analyzing, by one or more computing devices, image data embedded within the uploaded image to identify a predetermined object displayed in the uploaded image in response to the image being uploaded to the social stream;
    determining, based on identifying the predetermined object, a popularity of the predetermined object in the plurality of images uploaded to the social stream for the predetermined group of users;
    identifying, for the predetermined group of users, a current trend based on the popularity and a relevant time period for the images;
    determining, for each user of the predetermined group of users, a level of relevancy of the identified predetermined object based on information associated with the user; and
    providing, by the one or more computing devices, an electronic notification to a second user interface, the electronic notification indicating that the current trend applies to one or more users of the predetermined group of users whose level of relevancy satisfies a predetermined threshold, wherein the second user interface is different than the first user interface associated with uploading the plurality of images to the social stream and is accessed by an entity different from the group of users.

    I bet that no one is surprised that this claim was rejected by the USPTO. The surprising bit is that—by the time it came in front of the PTAB—it was rejected only on obviousness grounds. There were no subject matter eligibility rejections.

    Evidently, Judge Michel’s supposition that Google is getting special treatment in the courts does not go so far as allowing it to get to grant on unpatentable claims. I am hard pressed to believe, however, that the above claim would have withstood a §101 challenge if Google had ever tried to enforce.

    1. 1.1

      It MAY reflect though Google’s (rather unbelievable) assertion that IT does not see 101 problems on the patent applications that it processes.

      (as opposed to most all other players saying the opposite)

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