Treehouse Avatar LLC v. Valve Corp.

Treehouse Avatar LLC v. Valve Corp., C.V. 15-427-SLR (D. Del. March 22, 2016)

Patent(s):    

8,180,858 | Entitled, “Method and system for presenting data over a network based on network user choices and collecting real-time data related to said choices”

Disposition:               

Rule 12(b)(6) Motion To Dismiss Denied.

Abstract Idea:

Yes

Something More:

Yes

Technology:              

Allowing a user to select and customize a character (avatar) in real time, and also storing the information within the information network.

Summary:                 

Judge Sue L. Robinson denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss because the technology did not represent the “routine and conventional” use of a computer.  Applying the Two-Step Alice framework, Judge Robinson found that the abstract idea of tracking a user’s character customization choices was “necessarily rooted in computer technology to overcome a problem specifically arising in the realm of computer networks.” To that end, the patent provided a method for addressing the problem of “network site loyalty” by providing the network user with audio and visual data “indicative of the individuality of the network user.”  Thus the patent was not directed towards the routine and conventional use of a computer, but a “specific way” to solve a particular internet centric problem.