United States District Court, D. Delaware
For the Plaintiff: Ryan P. Newell, Esq., Connolly Gallagher LLP, Wilmington, DE; Marc A. Fenster. Esq. (argued), Russ August & Kabat, Los Angeles, CA; Benjamin T. Wang, Esq. (argued), Russ August & Kabat, Los Angeles, CA; Adam S. Hoffman, Esq., Russ August & Kabat, Los Angeles, CA.
For the Defendant: Jack B. Blumenfeld, Esq., Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, DE; Steven Cherny, Esq. (argued), Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York, NY; Joseph A. Loy, Esq. (argued), Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York, NY; Stephen Elkind, Esq., Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York, NY; David Draper, Esq., Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York, NY.
Richard G. Andrews, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Before the Court is Defendant K12's Motion for Summary Judgment of Invalidity, Non-Infringement, and No Pre-Suit Damages. (D.I. 173). The motion is fully briefed (D.I. 174, 217, 239) and oral argument
was heard on October 28, 2014. For the reasons set forth herein, the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted with respect to the patent claims' invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The patent does not claim patent-eligible subject matter.
IpLearn, LLC filed a patent infringement action against K12, Inc. on October 26, 2011. (D.I. 1). IpLearn maintains that K12 directly infringes five claims of the 6,688,888 (" the '888 patent" )--two independent claims 9 and 35, and three dependent claims 10, 19 and 20. (D.I. 182 at p. 4). The '888 patent is related to a computer-aided learning system, described in its abstract as follows:
A computer-aided learning method and apparatus based on a super-recommendation generator, which is configured to assess a user's or a student's understanding in a subject, reward the user who has reached one or more milestones in the subject, further the user's understanding in the subject through relationship learning, reinforce the user's understanding in the subject through reviews, and restrict the user from enjoying entertainment materials under certain condition, with the entertainment materials requiring a device to fulfill its entertainment purpose. The generator does not have to be configured to perform all of the above functions.
('888 patent, Abstract).
Claim 9 of the '888 patent recites:
A computer-implemented learning method regarding learning a subject, which is separated into a plurality of areas, the method comprising:
accessing a learner's results on a test; analyzing the learner s test results, using one or more rules, to determine at least one weakness in the learner's understanding on the subject; and providing guidance to the learner to target the at least one weakness; wherein
the analysis is performed by a first computing device; a report, based on the analysis and a report format, regarding the learner's understanding in at least two areas of the subject, is allowed to be presented by a second computing device, which is coupled, through a network, to the first computing device;
the method considers at least a preference of the learner, other than the fact that the learner might prefer to learn the subject; at least a plurality of areas of the subject can be individually accessed via the Internet;
an identifier, which can be entered by the learner and which is associated with the learner, is stored and can be accessed by a computing device;
an identifier, which can be entered by a person interested in the learner's understanding in the subject and which is associated with the person, is stored and can be accessed by a computing device;
at least some materials on the learner's understanding in the subject is stored in a storage area that has materials regarding the learner; the method allows the person to search for at least some of the materials in the storage area; and the method allows the learner to search the storage area for at least some of the materials related to the learner, regarding the subject.
( Id. at claim 9).
Dependent claim 10 reads:
A method as recited in claim 9 further comprising generating materials for learning the subject.
( Id. at claim 10).
Dependent claim 19 reads:
A method as recited in claim 9 wherein the test can be administered before teaching the learner the subject so as to determine the learner's understanding regarding the subject.
( Id. at claim 19).
Dependent claim 20 reads:
A method as recited in claim 9 wherein the method allows the learner to search the storage area for at least some of the materials on the learner's weakness in the subject.
( Id. at claim 20).
Claim 35 of the '888 patent, the other independent claim ...