Appistry, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Appistry, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. C15-1416RAJ, 2016 WL 3906905, at *1 (W.D. Wash. July 19, 2016)

Patent(s):    

  • 8,682,959 | Entitled “System and Method for Fault Tolerant Processing of Information Via Networked Computers Including Request Handlers, Process Handlers, and Task Handlers”
  • 9,049,267 | Entitled “System, and Method for Processing Information Via Networked Computers Including Request Handlers, Process Handlers, and Task Handlers”

Disposition:               

Motion to Dismiss on the grounds of invalidity allowed. 

Abstract Idea:

Yes

Something More:

No

Technology:              

The patents relate to using “a hive of computing machines...to process information.” To do so, the claimed inventions use a system of “a plurality of networked computers” to “process a plurality of processing jobs in a distributed manner.” To do so, the claimed systems enlist “a request handler, a plurality of process handlers, and a plurality of task handlers.” 

Summary:                 

The court found the patents invalid.  The court explained that under the first step of the Alice analysis, the claims in the '959 and '267 Patents were directed to “the abstract idea of distributed processing akin to the military's command and control system.” 

The court explained that under the second step of the Alice analysis, whether viewed individually or as an ordered combination, the claims of the '959 and '267 Patents do not contain an inventive concept.  The claims do little more than task generic computers with generic functions. Even the central idea of the claims – the use of a “network” of computers – uses a generic network. The claims simply provide for completing a task or process by distributing it downward via a hierarchical series of “handlers” located on generic computers spread throughout a generic network.