We previously reported on White Kunckle’s assertion of U.S. Pat. No. 8,540,575 against EA. Last year, EA secured a win against the patent under 35 USC 101 when the District of Utah found the claims were directed to ineligible subject matter. That decision was appealed to the Federal Circuit, who affirmed the holding on April 6, 2017. (Fed. Cir., Case no. 2016-2286).
EA also had an inter partes review pending against the ‘575 patent. In view of the Federal Circuit’s decision, White Knuckle informed the USPTO that they disclaimed every claim of the patent. As a result, the USPTO terminated the IPR proceedings on May 12. (IPR2016-00634).
Ineligible subject matter remains one of the most frequent attacks on patent validity. The lines have become more clear since Alice v CLS Bank in 2014, but it is still very difficult to predict whether any particular patent claim directed to software features will survive. White Knuckle’s ‘575 patent did not.