Here’s the latest.

Set Phase to Subject Matter Ineligible: More Accurate Haplotype Phase Method Still Abstract

Reported by Amy Mahan at JD Supra

The Federal Circuit recently issued In re Board of Trustees of Leland Stanford Junior University which affirmed the invalidity of a patent under Alice. Amy Mahan recaps the decision where the claims at issue were directed at improving the accuracy and efficiency of haplotype phase predictions (determining which parent provided a particular gene to its offspring). Stanford argued that the patent was an improvement on a technological process to satisfy step one of the Alice inquiry, but the Federal Circuit pointed out that Stanford did not raise this argument before the PTAB and held that the claims were towards an abstract idea. In applying step two, the Federal Circuit agreed that the claims did not add sufficient limitations which provided an inventive concept to the abstract idea.

The Court reasoned that the specific or different combination of mathematical steps to yield more accurate haplotype predictions than previously achievable under the prior art was not enough to transform the abstract idea in claim 1 into a patent-eligible application.

For more information, see our coverage.

Federal Circuit Says Hawaii Telecom’s FCC Suit Belongs in DC Circuit

Reported by Khorri Atkinson at Law360

On Thursday, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion affirming the Court of Federal Claim’s lack of jurisdiction over subsidies revoked by the FCC. Khorri Atkinson reviews the case which Sandwich Isles Communications argued the FCC’s revoked subsidies should be considered a taking and fall under the Court of Federal Claim’s jurisdiction due to the Tucker Act.

The FCC had pulled funding — that subsidizes providers for building infrastructure in high-cost areas, like the Hawaiian homelands — after the company’s founder was convicted of tax code violations in 2015.

However, the Federal Circuit pointed to the Communications Act and the Hobbs Act for the specific process of judicial review of FCC orders as opposed to the more general Tucker Act. Sandwich Isle Communications may be out of options at this point due to the status of its previous appeal in the D.C. Circuit.

The telecom also at the time filed a petition for review at the D.C. Circuit, but the circuit court tossed the appeal in May 2019 because SIC had missed the filing deadline by one day.

For more information, see our coverage.