In Network Congestion Solutions, LLC v. United States Cellular Coporation, C.A. No. 14-903-SLR; v. Wideopenwest Finance, LLC, C.A. No. 14-904-SLR (D. Del. Mar. 22, 2016), Judge Sue L. Robinson denied defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of patenable subject matter.
The patent-in-suit generally related to systems and methods for alleviating congestion in a communication network. See id. at 14-15. The Court first concluded that the claims were not directed to an abstract idea, finding the claims analogous to those held valid in DDR Holdings as “necessarily rooted in computer technology in order to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks.” Id. at 16 (quoting DDR Holdings). “That defendants are able to come up with a human equivalent of ‘resource control management’ does not render the claims at bar similar to methods that ‘merely recite the performance of some business practice known from the pre-Internet world along with the requirement to perform it on the Internet.” Id. The Court also concluded that the claims had an inventive concept: “[a]lthough defendants argue that the environment and devices are well known in the prior art and cannot provide an inventive concept, the claim as a whole (the equipment recited and steps claimed) provides the requisite degree of specificity. Moreover, the claims are directed to a solution for a problem that arises in the computer context. This specificity also suffices to alleviate concerns of pre-emption.” Id.