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US Judge strikes out COMPUTER/HUMAN LOVE patent

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make a PATENT TROLL grumpy

Troll in cross hairs

An American judge has delivered a comprehensive smack-down to a patent troll, invalidating a patent that tried to cover the practise of matchmaking simply because a computer was involved.

In this judgement, District Judge Denise Cote decided that matchmaking, claimed by a company called Lumen View Technology, simply isn't patentable.

Lumen's patent says it covers, among other things, “multilateral analyses of the combined preference data by computing a closeness-of-fit value; and delivering a list matching the at least one party and the at least one counterparty using the computed closeness-of-fit values.”

On that basis, it sued a number of companies, among them a comparison search site called FindTheBest that decided to fight back, and has now had a comprehensive victory.

Allowing Lumen View's patent, Judge Cote said, would essentially give it “a monopoly over an abstract idea”. “Permitting the patenting of bilateral or multilateral matchmaking using a computer would also cover “known and unknown uses,” varying from the matching of online daters to securities traders looking for trading partners”, she continued.

“There is no inventive idea” behind a patent trying to cover what matchmakers have been doing for millennia, the judgement states. “Nor is an unspecified closeness of fit process an inventive idea. It is merely a mathematical manifestation of the underlying process behind matchmaking”.

“Merely directing a computer to perform a function does not transform the computer into a specialized computer. Such a principle would lead to the absurd result of allowing the patenting the computerized use of even the most basic abstract ideas,” Judge Cote added. ®

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