Fuzzysharp Tech. v. 3D Labs — Part I

The recent oral argument in Fuzzysharp Technologies, Inc. v. 3D Labs, Inc., Ltd.  is extremely interesting if you are involved in the patenting of businesss methods and computer software.  No decision has been issued in the case; but, the oral argument in and of itself is informative.  The issue on appeal concerns whether the district court was in error in granting a summary judgment of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. §101 for the asserted claims.   There are five claims at issue with claim 1 of the 6,618,047 patent reading as follows: 

 1. A method of reducing the visibility related computations in 3-D computer graphics, the visibility related computations being performed on 3-D surfaces or their sub-elements, or a selected set of both, the method comprising:

 identifying grid cells which arc under or related to the projections or extents of projections associated with at least one of said 3-D surfaces or their sub-elements;

comparing data associated with said at least one of 3-D surfaces or their sub-elements with stored data associated with the grid cells;

determining which of said at least one of 3-D surfaces or their sub-elements is always invisible or always visible to a viewpoint or a group of viewpoints by projection based computations prior to a visibility computation; and

 ignoring said determined at least one of the 3-D surfaces or their sub-elements during said visibility computation.

Judge Bryson had a couple of interesting inquiries that were directed toward claiming internal processing of data by a computer, presumably without post-solution activity by the computer (such as displaying).  You can listen to his comments  [here] and [here].

The district court summary judgment order is available here: [Link].

The entire oral argument is available here: [Listen].

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