We posted Tuesday about the McRO case, and here is some more commentary for consideration, which we posted on our firm’s web site, too. One very notable point is that different from prior Federal Circuit decisions since Alice, here the claims were found patent eligible even where the claimed improvement was incorporated in software processed by a general purpose computer and did not result in an improvement in the technological performance of a computer, computer functionality, or computer network. Rather, even when the claimed improvement is not to the computer itself, a claim may still be patent eligible when the improvement allows computers to produce an outcome that previously only could be produced by an intuitive human process.
-1088, -1089, -1090, -1092, -1093, -1094, -1095, -1096,
-1097, -1098, -1099, -1100, -1101
under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) that the asserted claims of
U.S. Patent Nos. 6,307,576 (‘‘the ’576 patent’’) and
6,611,278 (‘‘the ’278 patent’’) are invalid, and remanded to the Central District of California for further proceedings. (Read full decision here)
1. A method for automatically animating lip synchronization and facial expression of three-dimensional characters comprising:
obtaining a first set of rules that define output morph weight set stream as a function of phoneme sequence and time of said phoneme sequence;
obtaining a timed data file of phonemes having a plurality of sub-sequences;
generating an intermediate stream of output morph weight sets and a plurality of transition parameters between two adjacent morph weight sets by evaluating said plurality of sub-sequences against said first set of rules;
generating a final stream of output morph weight sets at a desired frame rate from said intermediate stream of output morph weight sets and said plurality of transition parameters; and
applying said final stream of output morph weight sets to a sequence of animated characters to produce lip synchronization and facial expression control of said animated characters.
The takeaway: SOFTWARE PATENTS LIVE ON! Had these claims been struck down under 101, then thousands of other software patents would be of little more value than the paper they’re printed on.
…in view of the overall tone of the questions, the panel seems more likely than not to reverse the district court’s holding of invalidity under Section 101, and remand this case for further proceedings to reassess 101 eligibility using the correct standard, and/or also to determine infringement and validity under 35 U.S.C. §§102-103 (novelty and obviousness).