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Judge Sleet sua sponte stays litigation pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l

Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet recently considered defendant Metlife’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s patent infringement action on the basis that plaintiff’s patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,684,189, fails to claim patentable subject matter. The Money Suite Company v. Metlife, Inc., C.A. No. 13-1748-GMS (D. Del. Jan. 9, 2014). Metlife alleged that “the ‘189 patent is directed to an abstract idea — using a computer to generate a quote for a financial product product– and is thus non-patentable subject matter.” Id. at 3. Judge Sleet noted that the Federal Circuit is divided on the applicability of “[t]he abstract idea judicial exception to patent eligibility under § 101 of the Patent Act” to computer-implemented inventions. Id. The United States Supreme Court recently granted cert in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, the outcome of which may substantially affect the issues implicated by Metlife’s motion. As such, Judge Sleet sua sponte stayed this and other related cases pending the Supreme Court’s ruling. Id. at 4. The Supreme Court will hear argument in Alice Corp on March 31 (see SCOTUS Blog for coverage).

The Money Suite Company v. Metlife, Inc., C.A. No. 13-1748-GMS (D. Del. Jan. 9, 2014)

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