3D Computer Graphics Patents Deemed Invalid
In a victory for software patent haters everywhere, a patent on “improving 3D computer graphics through provision of an improved method for performing visibility calculations” was recently overturned because it was considered related to calculations and algorithms, and therefore not patentable.
Patents “directed to improving 3D computer graphics through provision of an improved method for performing visibility calculations” were invalid under In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (en banc), cert. granted, — U.S. —, 129 S.Ct. 2735 (2009) because they failed to claim patentable subject matter. “[Plaintiff] concedes that its patent claims are not transformative, but nevertheless argues that they are tied to a particular machine; to wit, a computer. . . . The claim language clearly states that these claims are drawn to mathematical calculations and algorithms for calculating whether certain surfaces are visible or invisible in 3D computer graphics. This is exemplified by the language of the claims, which specify a sequence of calculations that involve identifying,comparing,determining, and ignoring; data. Though the calculations may be performed on a computer, they are not tied to any particular computer. For these reasons, the claims of the [patents-in-suit] fail to pass muster under the Bilski machine implementation test for patentability under 35 U.S.C. § 101.”
Fuzzysharp Technologies Inc. v. 3DLabs Inc. Ltd., 4-07-cv-05948 (CAND December 11, 2009, Order) (Armstrong, J.)
See some of the legal documents here.