In a precedent-setting decision the Federal Circuit revived a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Susman Godfrey client Bascom Global Internet Services against AT&T. The ruling overturned a lower court’s decision that the Bascom patent was ineligible when viewed under the test established by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice decision. This is one of the first cases to uphold a software patent under Alice after a string of losses doled out to plaintiffs by the appellate court. Law.com noted that the decision in BASCOM shows that the “death” of software patents is exaggerated.
The Federal Circuit held that the Bascom patent, which involves a method for filtering Internet content, contained “an inventive concept” that satisfied Alice. “The claims do not merely recite the abstract idea of filtering content along with the requirement to perform it on the Internet, or to perform it on a set of generic computer components,” Judge Chen wrote. “Nor do the claims preempt all ways of filtering content on the Internet; rather, they recite a specific, discrete implementation of the abstract idea of filtering content.”
The case will now proceed in the Northern District of Texas.