Train in vain – Patents for mass transit fare systems struck down
Abstract: The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals continues to engage in abstract thinking — thinking about the patent-eligibility of abstract ideas, that is. The Federal Circuit has repeatedly reviewed whether patents are invalid because they covered patent-ineligible inventions. This article discusses a case in which the plaintiff ended up having four patents wiped out as invalid on this basis. A short sidebar discusses how improvements can preclude the abstract idea bar. Smart Systems Innovations, LLC v. Chicago Transit Authority, No. 16-1233, Oct. 18, 2017, Fed. Cir.; Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014).