By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in Visual Effect Innovations, LLC v. Sony Electronics Inc., Civil Action No. 17-1276-LPS (D.Del. September 30, 2018), the Court denied Sony’s partial motion to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure based on Sony’s contention that the asserted claims of U.S. Patent Numbers 9,699,444 (“the ‘444 patent”) and 9,716,874 (“the ‘874 patent”) are not directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
The claims asserted from the ‘444 patent and ‘874 patent relate to the modification of image frames in a video stream. Id. at *1. In its complaint asserting patent infringement against Sony, Visual Effect Innovations, LLC (“VEI”) asserts that Sony makes TVs that modify image frames in a manner that infringe claim 26 of the ‘444 patent and claim 1 of the ‘874 patent. Id. In its motion to dismiss, Sony claimed that the asserted claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 because they are directed to the abstract idea of image manipulation and do not contain an inventive concept “because the recited processor and storage elements are generic computer components, and the rest of the limitations do not result in the display of the recited images in any unconventional manner.” Id. at 10.
In denying Sony’s motion to dismiss, the Court found that Sony did not meet its burden to justify dismissal. Id. at *11. In other others, the Court could not conclude that, “taken as an ordered combination, the claims were well-understood, routine or conventional methods and apparatuses for image manipulation.” Id. Also, the Court noted that “the patent-eligibility inquiry could be impacted both by claim construction and by further factual development concerning the use of flicker described by the patents at the time of the inventions.” Id. Thus, the Court denied the motion without prejudice to Sony’s ability to raise another Section 101 challenge during the summary judgment stage of the case. Id. at *11-12.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.