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Right Place at Right Time Is Not Patentable: Judge Carter Finds Location-Based Reminder Function Ineligible for Patenting Under Section 101

On August 31, 2022, District Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. (S.D.N.Y.) found patent claims directed to a personal organizer with a location-based reminder function on a mobile phone to be directed to an abstract idea ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

Plaintiff Mira Advanced Technology Systems, Inc. (“Mira”) alleged that Defendant Google, LLC’s (“Google”) “Google Keep” infringed claims of U.S. Patent No. 10,594,854 (“the ’854 patent”). Google filed a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), asserting that the asserted claims were ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Court assessed patent eligibility for the asserted claims of the ’854 patent under the framework described in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. 208 (2014).

At Alice step one, the Court found that “the ’854 patent essentially operates by using location addresses entered by a user to submit a search request to a remote server to receive a set of GPS coordinates in return.” “Mira’s purported innovation is the retrieval of GPS coordinates from a remote database so users do not have to physically travel to a location or manually input coordinates.” The Court found that this invention was directed to an abstract idea that simply automated a process already previously performed by humans. “Quick and easy access” to data “does not make the asserted claims non-abstract at step one because the patent does not articulate any specific technological improvement.”

At Alice step two, the Court found there was no “inventive concept” in the asserted claims of the ’854 patent. “Relying on a database to access information does not satisfy the inventive concept requirement, nor does sending information over a network.” The Court further noted that claim 1 of the ’854 patent “does not explain any non-standard technology or methodology.” The Court therefore concluded that the asserted claims of the ’854 patent were not eligible for patent protection.

The case is: Mira Advanced Tech. Sys., Inc. v. Google LLC, Case No. 1:21-cv-07931 (ALC) (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 31, 2022)