OAKLAND —A federal judge has thrown out lawsuits against Fitbit, Garmin, GoPro, Nike and other companies alleging they had infringed a data uploading patent, saying the technology described in the patent were abstract ideas and not inventive concepts.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California granted the defendants' motion to dismiss lawsuits brought by Cellspin Soft Inc. over technology used in fitness tracking and GPS devices. Rogers also granted Garmin's motion for judgment on the pleadings.
In her April 3 decision, Rogers said Cellspin's claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C 101 because the patents aren't patent eligible.
"The Court finds that the asserted claims are directed to an abstract idea, namely a method of acquiring, transferring, and publishing data and multimedia content on one or more websites," she said in the ruling.
The main patent in the case is for a "method of utilizing a digital data capture device (such as a digital or video camera or wearable fitness tracker) in conjunction with a Bluetooth enabled mobile device for publishing data and multimedia content on one or more websites automatically or with minimal user intervention."
The ruling cited the Supreme Court's 2014 ruling in Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Int'l, which held that abstract ideas aren't patentable.
Cellspin argued that the patent describes "specific improvements." But Rogers found that the company failed to identify those improvements or explain how they enhanced "computer capabilities." She also noted that "mere utilization of Bluetooth or similar wireless technology is not sufficient, as the patent acknowledges that Bluetooth was a well-known means to" connect and exchange information between devices.
Rogers found that none of the claims "represent an inventive concept sufficient to transform the claimed abstract idea into a patent-eligible application.