Judge Richard G. Andrews recently granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings of invalidity under § 101. Callwave Commc’ns, LLC v. AT&T Mobility, et al., C.A. Nos. 12-1701-RGA, 12-1704-RGA, 12-1788-RGA (D. Del. Sept. 15, 2016). The defendants argued that the ’970 patent at issue, entitled “Location Determination System,” “claim[s] the abstract idea of relating location-related information through an intermediary,” through claims “written so broadly that they could be performed entirely by humans.” Id. at 8. The plaintiff countered that the ’970 patent describes “a specific technologic problem that arises in the context of complex location tracking systems, then claims a specific solution to that problem.” Id. at 8-9. Under the Mayo/Alice analysis, Judge Andrews found that “the claims are directed to the abstract idea of relaying location information via an intermediary.” Id. at 9. The Court added that “adding a vaguely defined intermediary that selectively forwards requests and returns responses does not make the underlying abstract idea any more concrete.” Id. at 10. “Unlike in Enfish, the claims . . . do not describe an improvement in any sort of technology. While plaintiff purports to suggest that the asserted claims solve a specific, technological problem, the claims simply describe a vague method of relaying location information via an intermediary.” Id. at 12.
The Court proceeded to find that the claims were “devoid of any inventive concept” that could save the patent from invalidation, explaining “[t]he only claim elements that describe something even arguably more than just basic steps of requesting location information and responding with the requested information, are the two limitations that state ‘adapted to determine the location of a respective mobile platform according to a property that is predetermined for each mobile platform’ and ‘determining for each mobile platform one of the remote tracking systems that is capable of locating said mobile platform.’” Id. at 14. Judge Andrews explained that these two limitations appear “simply directed to looking at a database to figure out what location tracking service is physically capable of locating a particular mobile platform or type of mobile platform.” Id. This “vague notion,” Judge Andrews found, “does not add anything of substance to the claims.” Id.