Judge Sleet Denies 101 Motion

November 3, 2016

Publication| Intellectual Property

In Green Mountain Glass, LLC v. Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., C.A. No. 14-392-GMS (D. Del. Oct. 11, 2016), Judge Sleet denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings brought by the defendant, Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. (“Saint-Gobain”), that one of the patents-in-suit, covering glass recycling, was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

Judge Sleet found that Saint-Gobain’s challenge did not make it past the first step of the Alice analysis. The Court found that limitations of the representative claim—“selecting virgin glass,” “determining percentages of at least said selected components of said mixed color glass cullet,” and “creating recycled glass products from said calculated composition”—were “steps grounded in physical action,” not abstract ideas. Judge Sleet analogized the patent to that found patentable in Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175 (1981), in that Green Mountain’s patent claimed a step-by-step industrial process.

Key Points:  Judge Sleet cautioned that his reliance on pre-Alice decisions such as Diamond was “only as a lighthouse in a notoriously foggy area of the law.”

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