Cosmokey Solutions GMBH & Co. v. Duo Security LLC, No. 20-2043 (Fed. Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Federal Circuit reversed the district court's entry of judgment on the pleadings holding that the asserted claims of CosmoKey's U.S. Patent No. 9,246,903 are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. The district court determined that the claims were directed to abstract ideas and fail to provide an inventive concept.
The court concluded that the claims of the '903 patent are patent-eligible under the Alice step two determination for patent eligibility because they recite a specific improvement to a particular computer-implemented authentication technique. In this case, the abstract describes a method of authenticating the identity of a user performing a transaction at a terminal (e.g., a computer), including activating an authentication function on the user's mobile device. The court explained, as the specification itself makes clear, that the claims recite an inventive concept by requiring a specific set of ordered steps that go beyond the abstract idea identified by the district court and improve upon the prior art by providing a simple method that yields higher security.