PTAB Reverses 101 Rejection for Ranking Based on Web Page Dwell Time
On an appeal from a 101 rejection by an examiner, the PTAB has reversed a 101 rejection to the following claim, from eBay’s U.S. Application No. 12/814,020:
18. A method comprising:
identifying a plurality of listings stored in a listing database as search results;
determining, using a processor, a respective dwell time associated with each of the plurality of listings, the dwell time based on an elapsed amount of time one or more users view a page describing the listing, and the dwell time associated with a likelihood of a transaction occurring with respect to the listing; and
ranking the listings composing the identified plurality of listings based at least in part on the respective dwell time associated with each of the plurality of listings.
The PTAB reasoned:
“We determine claim 1 is directed not only to the “business idea” of organizing (ranking) search results, but claim 1 also is directed to the use of dwell time, which is an Internet-centric challenge. See, e.g., Spec. 1–4, 12-16. Claim 1 is analogous to the claim at issue in DDR Holdings in that, in both cases, a key aspect of the claim focuses on “a challenge particular to the Internet.” DDR Holdings, 773 F.3d at 1257.”
I agree with the PTAB that this claim involves a idea related to the operation of a computer system, not an idea where novelty is based on a new piece of information or a new type of information that is abstract in nature, and therefore should fall inside 101.
The brief for this appeal was written by Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, PA, and in particular, by Jeff Ranck.
eBay is attempting to patent a list of listings ranked by “dwell time” — the “elapsed amount of time one or more users view a page describing the listing.”
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