Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 10:21 AM

E-commerce, Internet technology and novelty

Tony Dutra, of Bloomberg BNA, wrote recently about an e-commerce ruling the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit made on Jan. 22 (Soverain Software L.L.C. v. Newegg Inc., Fed. Cir., No. 2011-1009, 1/22/13).  In his article, Mr. Dutra discusses issues of obviousness in claims relating to the Internet versus existing processes, and routine incorporations of Internet technology into existing processes.  He quotes the court as stating, “Open Market did not invent the Internet, or hypertext or the URL… The use of hypertext to communicate a ‘statement document’ or ‘transaction detail document’ was a routine incorporation of Internet technology into existing processes.”  Relating this to our previous blog entry about tying method claims to a machine in software patenting, i.e., writing claims so as to pass the machine or transformation test (MOTT), we see the court affirming that tying to a machine is not the only requirement for validity of a claim.  The method itself must still be novel.  We interpret the court as saying you can’t take a known method and dress it up for the Internet and claim it as novel.

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