Junk patent ditched in EAST TEXAS

Signs of the end times for patent trolls

A US judge has tossed out a patent he considers “obvious”, and with it more than 150 lawsuits launched by a company called eDekka.

eDekka had launched action against too-many-defendants-to-list here because they were based on “unpatentable subject matter”.

That subject matter is US Patent 6,266,674 which describes something not much different to a database: “Random access information retrieval utilizing user-defined labels” was filed in 1992, granted in 2001, and bought by eDekka for its legal campaign in 2013.

The judge, Rodney Gilstrap of the East Texas District (a location with a patent-friendly reputation), writes that the patents cover “routine tasks that could be performed by a human … Claim 1 essentially describes the common process of receiving, labeling, and storing information, while Claim 3 encompasses retrieving such information.”

In other words, the patent could be realised with some warm bodies, ballpoint pens, and filing cabinets.

“The challenged claims, considered both independently and as an ordered combination, are not meaningfully limited in a manner that would prevent eDekka from obtaining a monopoly over the abstract idea itself”, the judge writes.

The rest of the claims fail for more-or-less the same reason, the judgement states.

Ars notes that the companies pursued by eDekka will have the chance to recover their lawyer's fees. ®

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