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Covington Cites Alice, Babe Ruth to Crush Pricing Patent

March 18, 2015, The Litigation Daily

Covington's George Pappas and Peter Swanson are mentioned in this article regarding their representation of AOL:

In a quartet of lawsuits filed last year, plaintiff Priceplay.com accused AOL Advertising Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. of infringing two patents related to online price auctions. But after a victory this week for AOL's lawyers at Covington & Burling, it looks like all four suits could soon be history.

Granting a motion to dismiss that AOL filed last year, U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews in Wilmington, Delaware ruled Wednesday that Priceplay's patents are too abstract to survive the patent eligibility requirements of Section 101 of the Patent Act. The decision heavily cites the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2014 ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank, which held that abstract ideas can't be patented unless they're transformed by a sufficiently "inventive concept." Adding a computer process or other routine limitations to an otherwise abstract patented concept doesn't cut it, the justices found.

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