Fed. Circ. Undoes Alice Ax Made Before Claim Construction

Law360 (August 16, 2019, 8:59 PM EDT) -- In a split decision Friday, the Federal Circuit vacated a lower court ruling that two MyMail computer toolbar patents asserted against Ask.com are invalid for claiming only abstract ideas, faulting the judge for making that decision without construing the patents’ claims.

The appeals court held 2-1 that under its precedent that factual issues can prevent judges from making patent eligibility decisions early in a case, Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California should have ruled on claim construction before deciding if the patents are invalid.

A key claim in the patents had been construed in an earlier case...

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