In a recent Memorandum Opinion, Judge Sue L. Robinson denied defendant’s motion to dismiss pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(6), which alleged that plaintiff failed to claim patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Improved Search LLC v. AOL Inc., C.A. No. 15-262-SLR (D. Del. Mar. 22, 2016). The first patent-in-suit, U.S. Patent No. 6,604,101 (“the ‘101 patent”) “relates generally to translation of query and retrieval of multilingual information on the web.” Id. at 13. As Judge Robinson explained, the ‘101 patent describes “a method and system for conducting a translingual search on the Internet and accessing multilingual websites through dialectal standardization, pre-search translation and post-search translation.” Id. The second patent-in-suit, U.S. Patent No. 7,516,154 (“the ‘154 patent”) is a continuation-in-part of the ‘101 patent and incorporates a system and method “to send a user one or more advertisements in his native language, also called as source language, over the Internet while the user is performing a cross language search.” Id. at 15. More specifically, “the server conducts a search in the database and returns to the user one or more advertisements relevant to the content word or keyword,” and the “advertisements are either in the source language or may be translated by the server from a target language.” Id. at 15-16.
Notably, Judge Robinson found that “[i]n trying to sort through the various iterations of the § 101 standard, the court looks to DDR as a benchmark.” Id. at 12 (citing DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.Com, L.P., 773 F.3d 1245, 1258-59 (Fed. Cir. 2014)).
As to the first step of the Alice framework, defendant attempted to “analogize the method of the ‘101 patent to a set of tasks performed by a human, [arguing] that the ‘101 patent is directed to the abstract idea of searching for documents in a foreign language by translating a modified search request.” Id. at 16-17 (citations omitted). Similarly, defendant argued “that the ‘154 patent is directed to two abstract ideas – translingual searching and advertising.” Id. at 17. Judge Robinson, however, provided the following analysis as to the first step under Alice: