In Cardionet, LLC v. Infobionic, Inc., [2019-1149] (April 17, 2020), the Federal Circuit reversed the dismissal of CardioNet’s complaint for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,941,207 on the ground that it claims ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
At step one of the Alice/Mayo inquiry, the district court concluded that the claims are directed to the abstract idea that atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter can be distinguished by focusing on the variability of the irregular heartbeat. The district court concluded that although the idea of using a machine to monitor and analyze heart beat variability and interfering beats so as to alert the user of potential atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter events may well improve the field of cardiac telemetry, CardioNet did not identify improvements to any particular computerized technology.
The Federal Circuit began its analysis with Alice step one, and looked to whether the claims focused on a specific means or method that improves the relevant technology or are instead directed to a result or effect that itself is the abstract idea and merely invoke generic processes and machinery. The Federal Circuit concluded that the asserted claims of the ’207 patent were directed to patent-eligible subject matter, saying that the claims focus on a specific means or method that improves cardiac monitoring technology; they are not directed to a result or effect that itself is the abstract idea and merely invoke generic processes and machinery.
The Federal Circuit agreed that the claims of the ’207 patent are akin to claims it had previously determined are directed to technological improvements, including in Visual Memory LLC v. NVIDIA, in McRO,.
The Federal Circuit said that at the heart of the district court’s erroneous step one analysis is the incorrect assumption that the claims are directed to automating known techniques.
Because it concluded under Alice step one that the asserted claims of the ’207 patent are not directed to an abstract idea, we do not reach Alice step two.