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Federal Circuit Upholds e-Commerce Patent as Patent Eligible

In DDR Holdings, LLC v. L.P. (Fed. Cir. Dec. 5, 2014), a split panel of the Federal Circuit held that DDR’s e-commerce patent involving an online syndication system governing the interactions of a host website with content from third-party merchants was patent eligible under Section 101.  The court distinguished DDR’s patent from those found patent ineligible in Alice Corp v. CLS Bank, Ultramercial, and other recent cases.  The court in DDR applied the two-step approach to eligibility required by the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp., and found that the DDR patent: (1) is not directed to an abstract idea; and (2) claims an “inventive concept” for solving a particular internet-centric problem.  In finding that the patent was not directed to an abstract idea, the court explained that the claims did not merely recite the performance of a business practice from the pre-internet world with the requirement to perform it on the internet. Instead, the claims were aimed at solving a particular problem arising with pre-existing computer networks, that in the conventional functioning of internet hyperlink protocol, customers would be automatically transported away from a host website and to a third-party merchant’s website by clicking on the hyperlink of a merchant’s advertisement.  The claimed invention worked around that convention and redirected the customer to a hybrid web page where the customer could purchase products from the merchant without actually entering the merchant’s website, allowing the host website to retain control over the attention of the customer.  The case may breathe new life into some software, business method, and e-commerce patents, most challenges to which had been successful following Alice Corp. On the other hand, commentators appear to be taking odds on whether the 2-1 panel decision will survive en banc or Supreme Court review.    

© 2022 Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 353

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William Berndt  Honigman Miller trade secrets false advertising trade secret law

 Mr. Berndt is a trial lawyer with substantial experience in state and federal courts across the country. He focuses his practice on trade secret and false advertising claims. He represents businesses and senior executives in disputes relating to noncompetition agreements, trademark and copyright, fraud, professional liability, internal investigations, and general business and commercial litigation. Mr. Berndt has first-chair experience in trials, arbitrations and other proceedings.

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David L. De Bruin appellate attorney patent litigation USPTO Honigman Chicago
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Mr. De Bruin is a seasoned first-chair trial and appellate attorney. He concentrates his practice on patent litigation and related proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. De Bruin successfully argues legal issues, as well as explain the most complex technology to judges and juries.

  • Tries patent cases in a variety of venues before judges and juries and has successfully argued numerous patent cases before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
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Marcus D. Fruchter lawyer Honigman Chicago office litigation specialist

Mr. Fruchter defends or initiates litigation when it is inevitable and avoids lawsuits where possible. He provides zealous and creative representation that protects his clients’ legal rights and advances their strategic objectives. Mr. Fruchter litigates in state and federal courts across the country, and he has handled matters involving international and cross-border issues.

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Nicholas A. Gowen Honigman Chicago complex commercial litigation attorney t

Mr. Gowen represents companies, individuals and law firms in disputes, including those involving intellectual property, trade secrets, unfair competition, employment matters and other business litigation matters. He approaches litigation with an eye toward results; understanding that advancing his clients’ litigation strategies should fit within their overall business interests.

  • Counsels businesses on ways to avoid litigation and resolve disputes using alternative measures
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Steven A Weiss Litigation attorney Honigman Law firm Chicago ediscovery
Leader, Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group

Mr. Weiss provides advice on a wide variety of business litigation for companies and business people. He is focused on resolving business disputes with particular experience handling intellectual property, breach of contract, trade secret, employment and covenant not to compete matters. Local and national companies and individuals retain Mr. Weiss to handle a full range of business disputes because they trust his judgment and litigation skills.

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