Last week, Judge Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California deemed claims relating to transmission of haptic messages to be directed to an abstract idea and therefore invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
The District Court denied Fitbit's motion on two of the three patents, but granted the motion with respect to U.S. Patent No. 8,638,301 (the '301 patent).
The two patents at issue that survived the motion, U.S. Patent No. 8,059,105 (the '105 patent) and U.S. Patent No. 8,351,299 (the '299 patent), are directed to having touchscreens and touchpads provide haptic feedback in response to user input received via such touchscreens and touchpads, and having a toothbrush or other device provide haptic feedback in response to a mechanism sensing a condition (e.g., a threshold number of brush strokes being met, or a time period expiring), respectively.
Given the state of the asserted claims -- especially that of claim 27, compared with the other two patents -- the District Court's finding here is relatively unsurprising. Again, it appears as though the lack of detailed physical components and detailed algorithms is what doomed the '301 patent.
Disclosure: I am/we are long IMMR.