SAP America, Inc. v. Investpic, LLC, No. 17-2081 (Fed. Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
InvestPic’s patent describes and claims systems and methods for performing statistical analyses of investment information. The Federal Circuit previously construed key claim terms and partly vacated the Patent Board’s cancellations of various claims in two reexamination proceedings involving issues of anticipation and obviousness under 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103. SAP subsequently sought a declaration that the patent’s claims are invalid because their subject matter is ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. 101. The district court granted SAP judgment on the pleadings. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Even if the techniques claimed are “[g]roundbreaking, innovative, or even brilliant,” that is not enough for eligibility. Nor is it enough for subject-matter eligibility that claimed techniques be novel and non-obvious in light of prior art, passing muster under 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103. The claims here are nothing but a series of mathematical calculations based on selected information and the presentation of the results of those calculations (in the plot of a probability distribution function). No matter how much of an advance in the finance field the claims recite, the advance lies entirely in the realm of abstract ideas, with no plausibly alleged innovation in the non-abstract application realm.