In CardioNet, LLC v. InfoBionic, Inc., the Federal Circuit reversed a district court decision that held CardioNet’s U.S. Patent No. 7,941,207 (the '207 patent) patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and CardioNet had filed a complaint that failed to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
The Federal Circuit concluded the claim 1 and other asserted claims of the ’207 patent related to a patent-eligible improvement to cardiac monitoring technology rather than an abstract idea, and reversed and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.
Claim 1 includes broad language that may be subject patent eligibility challenges reciting:
A device, comprising:
a beat detector to identify a beat-to-beat timing of cardiac
a ventricular beat detector to identify ventricular beats in
the cardiac activity;
variability determination logic to determine a variability in
the beat-to-beat timing of a collection of beats;
relevance determination logic to identify a relevance of the
variability in the beat-to-beat timing to at least one of
atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter; and
an event generator to generate an event when the variability
in the beat-to-beat timing is identified as relevant to the
at least one of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter in light of the variability in the beat-to-beat timing caused by
ventricular beats identified by the ventricular beat detector.
However, the Federal Circuit stated: "the language of claim 1 indicates that it is directed to a device that detects beat-to-beat timing of cardiac activity, detects premature ventricular beats, and determines the relevance of the beat-to-beat timing to atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter, taking into account the variability in the beat-to-beat timing caused by premature ventricular beats identified by the device’s ventricular beat detector. In our view, the claims 'focus on a specific means or method that improves' cardiac monitoring technology; they are not 'directed to a result or effect that itself is the abstract idea and merely invoke generic processes and machinery.'"
The patent owner's favorable outcome appears to be based on facts indicating the patent claims related to a technological improvement in cardiac monitoring rather than merely implementing known systems and techniques on a computer. The concurrence brought up the problem of determining whether an invention is long standing (conventional) without reference to prior art in step one of Alice v. CLS Bank.
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