On April 5, Ramey & Schwaller asked the United States Supreme Court to clarify its patentable subject matter standard under Alice after lower courts found U.S. Patent No. 9,978,107 invalid for not claiming patentable subject matter. NetSoc contends the claims of the ‘107 patent are patent eligible as the claims solve the technological problem in social networks of how to match participants based on a rating system found to be novel.
NetSoc contends the Federal Circuit incorrectly found that social networks are a long standing practice. In its Petition, NetSoc argues that in 2003, the filing date of the application, a computer implemented social network was something new and useful.
The questions presented in the petition are:
1. Is the addition of a network computer implemented social network, with a novel and unconventional rating system, to a method of organizing human activity per se unpatentable as directed to an abstract idea?
2. Is a network computer implemented social network an application of an abstract concept, namely the organizing and rating of human activity, to a new and useful end, therefore remaining eligible for patent protection?
3. In 2003, did the creation of a network computer implemented social network with a novel and unconventional rating system transform it into an improved social network that is something concrete and tangible?