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The Federal Circuit sided with several major US sports betting operators on Friday (21 June), dismissing multiple GPS patent infringement cases filed by Beteiro.

The court agreed with the operators’ defence that Beteiro’s patents were just an abstract idea that lacked an inventive concept.

It follows Beteiro opting to sue several leading US betting operators in 2021 and 2022, including DraftKings, bet365, BetMGM, Fanatics and FanDuel for the use of GPS technology in their platforms.

The three-judge panel said: “In the end, Beteiro’s claims amount to nothing more than the practice of an abstract idea using conventional (even as of 2002) computer equipment, including GPS on a mobile phone.”

It said it agreed with the New Jersey District Court’s judge Christine O’Hearn’s assessment of the patents as a “set of generic computer components”.  

DraftKings won its initial federal case in 2022, with Beteiro opting to appeal to the Federal Circuit.

The judges highlighted Section 101 of the Patent Act, which outlines the eligibility of patents. “Abstract ideas” are excluded from being patented.

The court added it was unpersuaded by Beteiro’s argument that its complaint raised a genuine dispute about whether the inclusion of GPS on a mobile was a conventional technology in 2002.

The court added: “Nowhere does the specification describe any difference between how GPS would be equipped on a mobile phone and how it would be equipped on any of the other described conventional computers.”

The Federal Circuit also rejected Beteiro’s argument that the patents were tied to technological improvement.

It said: “The Asserted Patents involve the mere use of computers as tools and do not claim any improvement in the computer related technology itself.

“As Appellees put it, ‘the issue of remote gambling being uncommon in 2002 was not a technical problem, nor do the Asserted Claims’ invocation of technology developed by others constitute a solution.’”

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