Money Suite Co. v. 21st Century Ins. & Fin. Servs.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Patents
  • Date Filed: 01-27-2015
  • Case #: C.A. No. 13-984-GMS; C.A. No. 13-985-GMS.; C.A. No. 13-986-GMS; C.A. No. 13-1747-GMS; C.A. No. 13-1748-GMS
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the District of Delaware
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8978
  • Westlaw Citation: Not yet available
  • Full Text Opinion

Limitations are not inventive concepts which transform an abstract idea into patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101

Opinion (Sleet): Money Suite Co. (“Money Suite”) holds a US Patent No. 6,684,189 (‘189 Patent) that describes a computer-based method for financial product price quote generation. Money Suite alleged that the defendants infringed on the ‘189 patent. The defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss claiming that the ‘189 patent claims “patent-ineligible subject matter” per 35 U.S.C. 101, because it claims an abstract idea.

This Court applies the two-step process from Alice to determine if the claims of the ’189 patent are invalid under 35 U.S.C. 101 for claiming an abstract idea. Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 734, 187 L. Ed. 2d 590 (2013).

First, the Court finds that “assigning prices to financial products and services” is an abstract idea.
Second, the ‘189 patent claim lacks an inventive concept to bring it beyond a mere abstract idea. Limitations are not inventive. Additionally, the process described in the ‘189 patent does not transform anything, it merely assigns a price quote, thus failing the machine-or-transformation test.

As such, the Court finds that the ’189 patent claims an abstract idea so it is invalid under 35 U.S.C. 101.

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