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Monday, May 8, 2017

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AFFIRMED
Tech Center 1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
1782 Ex Parte Petri et al 12661196 - (D) ROSS 103 Legal Department (M-495) LAN, YAN

Tech Center 2600 Communications
2688 Ex Parte KANBE et al 13764144 - (D) POTHIER 103 SUGHRUE MION, PLLC PENDLETON, DIONNE

Tech Center 3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
3611 Ex Parte Barrett et al 13748437 - (D) ASTORINO 103 JEFFREY H. RODDY WILLIAMS, MAURICE L

3623 Ex Parte Uthe 11688319 - (D) WIEDER 103 101 MOORE & VAN ALLEN, PLLC For IBM GURSKI, AMANDA KAREN

With regard to the first part of the [Alice] framework, we agree with the Examiner that the claims are directed to a method of organizing human activities and, in particular, to the abstract idea of creating a priority order of a list of rules and presenting a graphic user interface to edit the list. (See Answer 3, see also Claim 1.) “The ‘abstract idea’ step of the inquiry calls upon us to look at the ‘focus of the claimed advance over the prior art’ to determine if the claim’s ‘character as a whole’ is directed to excluded subject matter.” Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC v. DIRECTV, LLC, 838 F.3d 1253, 1257 (Fed. Cir. 2016). In this case, the Specification discloses that the invention is directed to “processes that may involve user or human interaction, and more particularly to a method and system to automate a user out of a process flow.” (Spec. 11.) And claim 1, as a representative claim, recites “determining ... if a process template . . . exists,” determining ... if a rule exists for automatic completion ... of the process template,” “at least partially completing ... the process template,” and presenting a GUI “for creating, editing, and controlling activation of the list of rules.” (Claim 1.) Courts have treated claims directed to similar subject matter as directed to an abstract idea. See Apple, Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc., 842 F.3d 1229, 1237, 1240-41 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (providing a GUI interface to generate menus, i.e., “list[s] of options available to a user displayable on a computer,” with certain functions); see also Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Capital One Bank (USA), 792 F.3d 1363, 1369—70 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (providing an interactive interface to the user). Additionally, “the claims are not directed to a specific improvement in the way computers operate. Cf. Enfish [LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 822 F.3d 1327, 1335-36 (Fed. Cir. 2016)].” Apple, Inc., 842 F.3d at 1241. Therefore, we are not persuaded that these claims are not directed to an abstract idea.

3649 Ex Parte Sanchez 13750818 - (D) HILL 102/103 QUARLES & BRADY LLP MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM

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