Defendant Murphy USA Inc. (“Murphy”) filed a motion for summary judgment of invalidity as to certain claim U.S. Patent No. 6,076,071 (“the ‘071 Patent”) and one claim of U.S. Patent No. 6,513,016 (“the ‘016 Patent”) on the grounds that the patents are directed to non-patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C § 101. In its motion, Murphy contended that “[t]he Asserted Claims, directed to an ‘automated product pricing system,’ cover nothing more than the abstract idea of changing prices from a central location using known electronic components, and are not patent-eligible under § 101.” Murphy also presented a chart of one of the claims to demonstrate why each discrete claimed “principle” is purportedly accomplished in a conventional manner.
The district court began its analysis by noting that”[p]atent claims enjoy a presumption of validity. 35 U.S.C. § 282. Beyond listing the claimed elements in a column entitled ‘Abstract Commercial Principle,’ Defendant has failed to articulate convincingly why it believes the ‘automated product pricing system’ of the Asserted Claims is considered abstract under the law. By evaluating Claim 24 of the ‘071 Patent as a whole, the court concludes the Asserted Claims are not abstract under the law.”