United States District Court, D. Delaware
AXCESS INTERNATIONAL, INC. Plaintiff,
GENETEC (USA) INC., Defendant.
before me is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (D.I. 13).
Defendant challenges the patent eligibility of every claim of
U.S. Patent No. 7, 216, 158 ('"158 Patent")
under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Parties have fully briefed
the issue. (D.I. 14, 17, 19). For the reasons set out below,
I will deny Defendant's motion.
filed this lawsuit on August 8, 2018, alleging that Defendant
infringes claims 14-18 of the '158 Patent. (D.I. 1). The
Patent contains three independent and twenty dependent
claims. Asserted independent claim 14 is representative:
method of providing identity verification for access to a
secure area, comprising:
eliciting a radio response from a radio frequency
identification (RFID) tag at an access door of a secure area;
determining whether access by a wearer of the RFID tag to the
secure area is authorized based on the radio response;
recording a video image of the wearer of the RFID tag at the
access door; and controlling access to the door to provide
access to the secure area by the wearer only if access by the
wearer is authorized.
('158 Patent, claim 14).
12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss
reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the
court must accept the complaint's factual allegations as
true. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555-56 (2007). Rule 8(a) requires "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief." Id. at 555. The factual allegations
do not have to be detailed, but they must provide more than
labels, conclusions, or a "formulaic recitation" of
the claim elements. Id. ("Factual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level... on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact)."). Moreover, there must be sufficient factual
matter to state a facially plausible claim to relief.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The
facial plausibility standard is satisfied when the
complaint's factual content "allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Id. ("Where a
complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a
defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between
possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief."
(internal quotation marks omitted)).
35 U.S.C. § 101 Patent Eligible Subject Matter
101 of the Patent Act defines patent-eligible subject matter.
It provides: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and
useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of
matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain
a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements
of this title." 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Supreme Court
recognizes three categories of subject matter that are not
eligible for patents-laws of nature, natural phenomena, and
abstract ideas. Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank
Int'l, 134 S.Ct. 2347, 2354 (2014). The purpose of
these exceptions is to protect the "basic tools of
scientific and technological work." Mayo
Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 132
S.Ct. 1289, 1293 (2012). "[A] process is not
unpatentable simply because it contains a law of nature or a
mathematical algorithm," as "an application of a
law of nature or mathematical formula to a known structure or
process may well be deserving of patent protection."
Id. at 1293-94 (internal quotation marks and
emphasis omitted). In order "to transform an
unpatentable law of nature into a patent-eligible application
of such a law, one must do more than simply state the law of
nature while adding the words 'apply it.'"
Id. at 1294 (emphasis omitted).
Alice, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the framework laid
out in Mayo "for distinguishing patents that
claim laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas
from those that claim patent-eligible applications of those
concepts." 134 S.Ct. at 2355. First, the court must
determine whether the claims are drawn to a patent-ineligible
concept. Id. If the answer is yes, the court must
look to "the elements of the claim both individually and
as an 'ordered combination'" to see if there is
an '"inventive concept'-i.e., an
element or combination of elements that is 'sufficient to
ensure that the patent in practice amounts to significantly
more than a patent upon the [ineligible concept] itself"
Id. (alteration in original). "A claim that
recites an abstract idea must include 'additional
features' to ensure that the [claim] is more than a
drafting effort designed to monopolize the [abstract
idea]." Id. at 2357. Further, "the
prohibition against patenting abstract ideas cannot be
circumvented by attempting to limit the use of [the idea] to
a particular ...