Simio, LLC v. Flexsim Software Products


Case: 20-1171 Document: 41 Page: 1 Filed: 12/29/2020 United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ______________________ SIMIO, LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant v. FLEXSIM SOFTWARE PRODUCTS, INC., Defendant-Appellee ______________________ 2020-1171 ______________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Utah in No. 2:18-cv-00853-DB, Senior Judge Dee V. Benson. ______________________ Decided: December 29, 2020 ______________________ DAVID G. OBERDICK, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, Pitts- burgh, PA, argued for plaintiff-appellant. Also represented by JOSEPH AARON CARROLL; JAMES C. WATSON, H. DICKSON BURTON, TraskBritt, P.C., Salt Lake City, UT. MARK A. MILLER, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Salt Lake City, UT, argued for defendant-appellee. Also represented by BRETT L. FOSTER, ELLIOT HALES. ______________________ Case: 20-1171 Document: 41 Page: 2 Filed: 12/29/2020 2 SIMIO, LLC v. FLEXSIM SOFTWARE PRODUCTS Before PROST, Chief Judge, CLEVENGER and STOLL, Circuit Judges. PROST, Chief Judge. Simio, LLC (“Simio”) sued FlexSim Software Products, Inc. (“FlexSim”) in the United States District Court for the District of Utah for infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,156,468 (“the ’468 patent”). The district court held the asserted claims of the ’468 patent ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101 and, as a result, dismissed the action be- cause Simio’s complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Simio then moved for leave to file an amended complaint, which the district court denied. Simio appeals the dismissal and the denial of its mo- tion for leave to amend. We affirm. BACKGROUND I The ’468 patent is titled “System and Method for Cre- ating Intelligent Simulation Objects Using Graphical Pro- cess Descriptions.” Its background section describes different types of simulations, including those that are event-oriented, process-oriented, and object-oriented, the last of which is relevant here. ’468 patent col. 2 l. 10–col. 3 l. 26. Object-oriented simulations are, as the name suggests, based on “objects.” Objects can be things in the simulation, such as people, vehicles, or machines. Although the patent acknowledges that object-oriented simulations have ex- isted since the 1960s, id. at col. 2 ll. 10–19, it states that earlier object-oriented simulation products were “program- ming-based tools” that were “largely shunned by practi- tioners as too complex,” id. at col. 3 ll. 13–14. The patent also describes a trend that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s: using graphics to simplify building simulations. See id. at col. 2 ll. 46–54 (“The introduction of Microsoft Windows Case: 20-1171 Document: 41 Page: 3 Filed: 12/29/2020 SIMIO, LLC v. FLEXSIM SOFTWARE PRODUCTS 3 made it possible to build improved graphical user inter- faces and a number of new graphically based tools emerged . . . .”). The ’468 patent’s purported invention concerns making object-oriented simulation easier and more accessible by letting users build simulations with graphics instead of programming: Objects are built using the concepts of object-orien- tation. Unlike other object-oriented simulation systems, however, the process of building an object in the present invention is simple and completely graphical. There is no need to write programming code to create new objects. Id. at col. 8 ll. …

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