Federal Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment of Invalidity under Sec. 101 for Client NBC Universal

Published April 10, 2015

On April 10, 2015, two days after oral argument, the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed a summary judgment of invalidity to Klarquist client Bravo Media, LLC (a division of NBC Universal Media LLC) that U.S. Patent No. 6,585,516 (the ‘516 patent) was invalid under 35 USC § 101 for failing to claim patent-eligible subject matter. The ‘516 patent, owned by non-practicing entity DietGoal Innovations, LLC, was generally directed to a system and method for using a computer to plan meals to meet one’s nutritional goals. Applying the Supreme Court’s decisions under § 101, including Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, Judge Engelmayer held that the ‘516 patent claimed an abstract concept of meal planning on a general purpose computer.

In a separate case against Klarquist client Time Inc., Judge Engelmayer dismissed the case based on the collateral estoppel effect of his decision of invalidity in the Bravo Media case. DietGoal dismissed its appeal of the collateral estoppel decision. A third case against Klarquist client Meredith Corporation has been stayed pending the Federal Circuit’s decision in the Bravo Media case and is expected to be dismissed soon.

The DietGoal cases against Klarquist’s clients traveled a winding road to victory. DietGoal sued Bravo Media and several dozen others companies in 2012 in the Eastern District of Texas. DietGoal alleged that recipe search features or meal planning features offered on the defendants’ websites, infringed some claims of the ‘516 patent. Klarquist’s three clients sought transfer of their cases to the Southern District of New York, but the court in East Texas instead transferred the cases to the Eastern District of Virginia. There, Klarquist convinced that court to transfer the DietGoal cases against Klarquist’s three clients to the Southern District of New York, where the invalidity summary judgment motion was filed and granted.

Bravo Media is represented by Klarquist attorneys J. Christopher Carraway and N. Andrew Sfeir.

DietGoal v. Bravo – 101 Summary Judgment Decision
DietGoal v. Time – Collateral Estoppel Decision