Authentication Technique Found Patent Eligible

Federal Circuit Reverses Holding of Patent Ineligibility Under § 101

On October 4, 2021, the Federal Circuit reversed a holding of patent ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  All members of the panel were in agreement that the claims of CosmoKey Solutions GmbH & Co. KG's patent were patent-eligible because they recited a specific improvement to a particular computer-implemented authentication technique. The majority, Judges O'Malley and Stoll, held that the claims satisfied step two of the Supreme Court's Alice inquiry, after accepting the district's court characterization of the claims as being directed to an abstract idea. Judge Reyna, however, found patent eligibility under Alice step one and felt the majority erred based on an opinion that "step two does not operate independently of step one" and "comes into play only when a claim has been found to be directed to patent-ineligible subject matter."