Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a Rule 36 judgment in a patent eligibility case, Consumer 2.0, Inc. v. Tenant Turner, Inc., No. 19-1846 (Fed. Cir. 2020). The ruling affirmed the findings of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia that the claims of a a patent for a “method employing a combination of hardware and software for secure, automated entry of real property” were invalid for being directed to an abstract idea and, thus, were ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The patented method essentially allows a user to enter a “durational” – rather than static – code on a lockbox in order to view a rental property without a realtor being present.
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