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Advanced Auctions LLC v. Ebay Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

March 27, 2015

ADVANCED AUCTIONS LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
EBAY INC., Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS [Docket No. 71]

ROGER T. BENITEZ, District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant eBay, Inc.'s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. (Docket No. 71.) Defendant eBay asserts that Plaintiff Advanced Auctions LLC's patent, U.S. Patent No. 8, 266, 000 (000 Patent), claims unpatentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. ยง 101 - the abstract idea of an auction lacking any additional inventive concept that would make it patent eligible. Advanced Auctions has filed an Opposition and eBay has filed a Reply. (Docket Nos. 72-73.) The Court heard oral argument on December 12, 2014.

BACKGROUND

The '000 Patent claims a two-mode computer-based Internet auction. During the first mode, the item being sold is displayed, bids can be placed, and a user receives updated information on the status of the auction by a manual request, i.e. manually refreshing the page. At a predetermined set time, the auction moves into a second mode. During the second mode, information about the status of the auction is updated automatically without the user manually requesting the update.

Claim 1 of the '000 Patent recites:
A method of hosting a computer-based auction over the internet, comprising:
using a computer to produce information representing a webpage indicative of an electronic auction, where said webpage shows bid amounts and accepts bids over the internet;
said computer producing second information as part of said information representing a webpage, said second information having a first parameter indicative of an ending time for said electronic auction;
said computer also storing a predetermined set time before the ending time;
prior to said set time before said ending time, said computer carrying out the auction in a first mode, in which information that represents a webpage with information about the auction is updated only based on a manual request for update received from a client over the internet and is not automatically updated;
after said set time before said ending time, said computer changing a mode of carrying out the auction to a second mode, wherein said second mode, said computer automatically updating said information that represents the webpage to have new information and automatically sending said new information over the internet to each of a plurality of clients, in a way that causes said each of said plurality of clients to automatically display said new information without making a request for said new information.

'000 Patent, 10:1-29

The remainder of the claims vary this basic structure, including for example: starting the second mode an hour before the end of the auction; automatically refreshing only the price and ...


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