BASCOM Global Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 15-1763 (Fed. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
BASCOM’s 606 patent, filed in 1997, describes how some websites contain information deemed unsuitable for some users. Filtering software placed on local computers created logistical problems: possible modification by the end-user, the effort involved in installing software on every machine; the variety of hardware and operating systems; and the need for regular updating to track changes in the content of Internet sites. The 606 patent provides individually customizable filtering at the remote ISP server by requiring each user to log-in. The district court dismissed an infringement suit, finding the claims invalid under 35 U.S.C. 101, stating “[f]iltering software, apparently composed of filtering schemes and filtering elements, was well-known in the prior art” and “using ISP servers to filter content was well-known to practitioners.” The Federal Circuit vacated. Although the claims were directed to the abstract idea of filtering content, the inventive concept inquiry requires more than recognizing that each claim element, by itself, was known in the art. An inventive concept can be found in a non-conventional and non-generic arrangement of known, conventional pieces. Nothing refuted BASCOM’s assertion that the claims contain an “inventive concept” in their ordered combination of limitations sufficient to satisfy the second step of the Supreme Court’s “Alice” test.