11 patent troll cases fall victim to landmark Supreme Court ruling

US courts have applied 11 federal judicial rulings in patent cases due to filings that were deemed to be “abstract” and not able to be patented as a result.

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The cases targeted Internet behemoths such as Google, Amazon and many others and relate to Section 101 of US patent law that governs whether or not a patent is “abstract”.

Cases have accelerated in number since a US Supreme Court decision on 26 June in the Alice v. CLS Bank case that was expected to have an impact, however, the number of rulings being cast down is stronger than originally thought.

"The courts are sending a pretty clear message: you can't take a commonplace human activity, do it with a computer, and call that a patentable invention," said Tim Lee from Vox Media, according to Ars Technica.

Lee’s list only shows the cases that failed under Section 101 and large numbers of the patents being ruled out by this law are so-called “do it on a computer” patents that take every day activities and apply extensive computer terminology to them.

Some of the patent rulings that are among the 11 include the Digitech case that saw a unit of Acacia Research Corporation try to use a mid-1990s Polaroid patent to sue 31 different camera companies and was eventually put to bed by the Federal Circuit court on 17 July.

The “computer bingo” patent is another that bit the dust as well as a Delaware court that threw out a patent on a computer system for “upselling” that was used to target Amazon.

Fast-forward to this month and two cases against Google were also dismissed including one that talked of a method to use a computer “to facilitate the exchange of identity between two anonymous parties,” the court reporting that each step was performed by human head hunters.

The second case was brought by BuySafe that tried to claim patent right over the concept of using a computer to issue surety bonds, the judge pointing out that it has been around since ancient times.

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Every Penny Counts, a notorious patent troll, is also on the list of offending firms that is made up almost entirely of those firms that have no business except from bringing patent lawsuits.