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Cardionet, LLC v. Infobionic, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

March 29, 2018

CARDIONET, LLC, and BRAEMAR MANUFACTURING, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
INFOBIONIC, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          INDIRA TALWANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This court previously allowed in part Defendant InfoBionic, Inc.'s Renewed Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [#281], finding Claim 31 of U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 (“'850 Patent”) and Claim 12 of U.S. Patent 7, 907, 996 (“'996 Patent”) not patent eligible as a matter of law under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 101. Mem. & Order [#289]. The court requested additional briefing as to whether the claims were representative of the '850 and '996 Patent claims. Id. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a Motion for Reconsideration [#296] of the Memorandum & Order [#289], a Memorandum [#297] in support of Plaintiffs' motion and in response to the court's request, and other papers. Defendant filed a Brief in Support of Patent-Ineligibility and in Opposition to the Motion for Reconsideration [#304], and other papers. For the reasons set forth below, the court DENIES the motion for reconsideration, and finds that the claims at issue are representative of all claims in the '850 and '996 patents asserted by Plaintiffs against Defendant.

         I. The Court's Prior Findings as to Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent The court previously provided the following overview of the Patents-at-issue:

The '850 and '996 Patents, titled “System and Method for Processing and Presenting Arrhythmia Information to Facilitate Heart Arrhythmia Identification and Treatment, ” share an identical specification and are directed to a system and method of reporting arrhythmia events in physiological data. U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col. 1 ll. 36-49 (filed May 1, 2007); U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 1 ll. 39-54 (filed Mar. 15, 2011). The system receives arrhythmia information both from a computer and from user input from a monitoring system. U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col. 9 ll. 40-60; U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 1 ll. 55-67. The system pictographically presents selective information regarding the heart rate data during a defined time period, based on the measure of correlation between the computer-generated and the human-assessed data. U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col. 1 ll. 40-49; U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 1 ll. 40-49. The specifications provide that, by employing pictographic presentations, the claimed invention offers advantages over prior art; it purports to help medical practitioners determine whether a patient is more likely to experience an arrhythmia event at certain times of the day, and the correlation of two sets of data is said to improve the accuracy of the pictographic representation. U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col 1. ll. 50-65; U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 1 ll. 50-65.

         Mem. & Order 10-11 [#289].

         The court then considered whether the claims from these two patents cited in the Third Amended Complaint, Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent, are directed to a common-sense abstract idea, and concluded that they were “directed to the abstract idea of correlating one set of data to another.” Id. at 14. As the court explained:

Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent, read in conjunction with the patent specifications, recite a system that receives computer-generated “arrhythmia information from the monitoring system and . . . human-assessed arrhythmia information from the monitoring station, ” U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col. 9 ll. 48-51, to “selectively present[] information regarding the identified events based on the measure of correlation” between the two sets of information, U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 1 ll. 45-47. The claimed system is analogous to a medical professional analyzing the physiological data and comparing his or her assessment with a colleague's second opinion. The medical professional also consolidates his or her assessment with that of his or her colleague, based on the same physiological data, to arrive at a more accurate diagnosis. This suggests that the claims are directed to the abstract idea of “a longstanding, well-known method of organizing human behavior, ” where a computer only facilitates such existing practices. Bascom [Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC], 827 F.3d [1341, ] 1348 [(Fed. Cir. 2016)].
These claims are similar to the claim in Digitech Image Techs., LLC v. Elecs. for Imaging, Inc., 758 F.3d 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2014). . . . The Federal Circuit concluded that the claim was an “ineligible abstract process of gathering and combining data” and that “the two data sets and the resulting device profile are ineligible subject matter.” Id. Like the claim in Digitech, the process in Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent of “manipulat[ing] existing information to generate additional information is not patent eligible.” Id. Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent point to a system that combines computer-generated data with human-generated data to produce a pictographic representation.
Plaintiffs argue that Defendant relies on an overly broad construction of the claim by describing it as a correlation of the two sets of data. According to Plaintiffs, the claims are directed to specific inventions in the mobile cardiac telemetry field, similar to the claims in Enfish[, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016)]. However, Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent are distinguishable from those at issue in Enfish. In Enfish, the claimed invention sought to improve a specific computer functionality-namely, the existing logical model of generating data table. 822 F.3d at 1330. Additionally, the specifications explicitly provided that the patented invention was an improvement to the conventional database structure. Id. at 1337. In contrast, Plaintiffs do not point to an existing computer functionality that the claimed invention seeks to improve but instead argue that the claimed invention improves the entire field of mobile telemetry. Further, rather than describing the claimed invention as a specific computer functionality, the specifications for the '850 and '996 Patents describe them as improvements to “a system for reporting information.” U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col. 2 ll. 25-26; U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 2 ll. 30-31. Furthermore, the specifications simply point out that this patented system “can be implemented using, for example, the CardioNet Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT) device.” U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col. 2 ll. 40-44; U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 2 ll. 45-48 (emphases added).

Id. at 12-14.

         The court then considered Defendant's argument that Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent do not add an inventive concept because they “recite only conventional hardware or routine steps” such as a “monitoring system, ” “monitoring station, ” “processing system” and “software, ” and Plaintiffs' response that an ordered combination of the limitations provided an inventive concept. Id. at 14. The court found that the two claims at issue do not add an inventive concept sufficient to be patent-eligible subject matter under Section 101.

Id. at 16. As the court explained:

Plaintiffs . . . fail to articulate [an inventive concept]; they point instead to findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that Defendant “failed to demonstrate a reasonable likelihood of establishing the unpatentability of [the] claims.” (Internal quotation marks omitted.) However, these findings relate to challenges to patentability under Section 103 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 103, not under Section 101. InfoBionic, Inc. v. Braemer [sic] Mfg., LLC, No. IPR2015-01705 (P.T.A.B. Feb. 16, 2016); InfoBionic, Inc. v. Braemer [sic] Mfg., LLC, No. IPR2015-01704 (P.T.A.B. Feb. 16, 2016).
Claim 31 of the '850 Patent and Claim 12 of the '996 Patent purport to provide for a scheme that generates a graphic presentation of the combined data by instituting a monitoring system that receives data inputs from a computer, a physician, and a processing system that can correlate the two sets of data. U.S. Patent No. 7, 212, 850 col. 1 ll. 50-65; id. at col. 9 ll. 40-60; U.S. Patent No. 7, 907, 996 col. 1 ll. 55-67. However, medical professionals long have analyzed physiological data, sought a second opinion to improve accuracy, and identified arrhythmia events from the physiological data. Therefore, the system merely “automate[s] or otherwise make[s] more efficient” traditional methods or techniques existing in the medical field. OIP Techs., Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 788 F.3d 1359, 1363 (Fed. Cir. 2015). While the process ...

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