from the United States District Court for the Central
District of California in No. 2:15-cv-07562-DOC-GJS, Judge
David O. Carter.
William J. O'Brien, One LLP, Beverly Hills, CA, argued
Gregory H. Lantier, Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr
LLP, Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee. Also
represented by Robert Manhas.
Prost, Chief Judge, Clevenger, and Reyna, Circuit Judges.
Mail Solutions LLC appeals from the United States District
Court for the Central District of California's grant of a
motion to dismiss on grounds that the claims of seven
asserted patents are directed to subject matter ineligible
for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Because the claims
of the asserted patents are directed to an abstract idea and
the claims contain no additional elements that transform the
nature of the claims into a patent-eligible application of
the abstract idea, we affirm.
appeal involves seven patents that Secured Mail groups into
three categories. U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 814, 032, 7, 818, 268,
and 8, 073, 787 are the "Intelligent Mail Barcode"
patents. U.S. Patent Nos. 8, 260, 629 and 8, 429, 093 are the
"QR Code" patents. U.S. Patent Nos. 8, 910, 860 and
9, 105, 002 are the "Personalized URL" patents.
patents involve methods whereby a sender affixes an
identifier on the outer surface of a mail object (e.g.
envelope or package) before the mail object is sent.
Computers and networks are used to communicate the
information about the mail object's contents and its
sender after the mail object is delivered.
Intelligent Mail Barcode patents recite a method for
verifying the authenticity of the mail object. The identifier
or barcode is a single set of encoded data that is generated
by concatenating a sender-assigned unique identifier with
sender data, recipient data, and shipping method data.
'268 patent, J.A. 76-77. The barcode is affixed to the
outside of the mail object and an authenticating portion of
the barcode is stored in a database. The recipient of the
mail object can access the database and use that
authenticating portion to verify that a mail object is
Code and Personalized URL patents additionally require that a
reception device (e.g., personal computer) be used to scan
the encoded data and display the resulting data on the
reception device's display screen. See, e.g.,
'629 patent, J.A. 98; '093 patent, J.A. 107; '860
patent, J.A. 120. In the QR Code patents, the identifier is a
QR code (two-dimensional barcode) which a user can scan to
look up additional electronic information related to the mail
object. Specifically, the barcode includes data that allows
the recipient of the mail object to request data directly
from the sender and allows the sender to provide personalized
data directly to the recipient, without the involvement of
the mail carrier. For example, a customer might scan the QR
code and be directed straight to her account rather than
having to log in to access the account.
Personalized URL patents, a method similar to the QR Code
patents is used, except the identifier is a personalized
network address, or URL. For example, the user can type the
URL into her web browser and be directed straight to a
specific account, or to other personalized information. The
types of data provided by the sender include content
information, warranty information, and account information.
Intelligent Mail Barcode patents, claim 1 of the '268
patent is representative:
1. A method of verifying mail identification data,
affixing mail identification data to at least one mail
object, said mail identification data comprising a single set
of encoded data that includes at least a unique identifier,
sender data, recipient data and shipping method data, wherein
said unique identifier consists of a numeric value assigned
by a sender of said at least one mail object;
storing at least a verifying portion of said mail
identification data; receiving by a computer at least an
authenticating portion of said mail identification data from
at least one reception device via a network, wherein said
authenticating portion of said mail identification data
comprises at least said sender data and said shipping method
providing by said computer mail verification data via said
network when said authenticating portion of said mail
identification data corresponds with said verifying ...