11/18/2014
Category: ITC   
 
 
 
By: Christian Hannon, Contributor 
 
TitleuPI Semiconductor Corp. v. ITC, No. 2013-1157, -1159 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 25, 2014).
IssueBefore the court are the appeal of respondent intervenor uPI Semiconductor Corp. (“uPI”) and the companion appeal of complainant-intervenors Richtek Technology Corp. and Richtek USA, Inc. (together “Richtek”) from rulings of the International Trade Commission in an action to enforce a Consent Order, Certain DC-DC Controllers and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-698 (75 Fed. Reg. 446).
uPI Semiconductor Corp., at *3.
HoldingWe affirm the Commission’s ruling that uPI violated the Consent Order as to the imports known as “formerly accused products,” and affirm the modified penalty for that violation. We reverse the ruling of no violation as to the “post-Consent Order” products. The case is remanded for further proceedings in accordance with our rulings herein.
Id. 
 
 
 
 
11/15/2014
Category: Damages   
 
 
 
By: Abby Lin, Contributor 
 
TitleHighmark, Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt., No. 11-1219 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 5, 2014).
IssueThis case comes to us on remand from the Supreme Court, which vacated our earlier opinion in which we set aside the district court’s award of attorney fees to appellee Highmark, Inc. (Highmark)..
Highmark, at *2.
Holdings“[Per Supreme Court guidance, instead of de novo review,] an appellate court should review all aspects of a district court’s § 285 determination for abuse of discretion.” Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys., Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1744, 1747 (2014).
Id. at *4 (text added).
 
 
 
 
 
11/12/2014
 
 
 
By: Jesus Hernandez, Blog Editor/Contributor 
 
TitleWilliamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, No. 2013-1130 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 5, 2014).
Issues
[1: Claim Construction] [T]he district court issued a claim construction order, construing, inter alia, the following limitations of independent claims 1 and 17: “graphical display representative of a classroom” and “first graphical display comprising...a classroom region” (collectively, the “graphical display” limitations). The district court held that these terms require “a pictorial map illustrating an at least partially virtual space in which participants can interact, and that identifies the presenter(s) and the audience member(s) by their locations on the map.”
Williamson at *8.
[2: Means-Plus] [T]he district court also concluded that the limitation of claim 8, “distributed learning control module,” was a means-plus-function term under 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 6. The district court then evaluated the specification and concluded that it failed to disclose the necessary algorithms for performing all of the claimed functions.
Id. at *8.
Holdings
[1: Claim Construction] [W]e conclude that the district court incorrectly construed the graphical display terms to have a “pictorial map” limitation [because the e claim language itself contains no such limitation, and there is nothing in the intrinsic record to warrant narrow construction].
Id. at *11.
[2: Means-Plus] The district court here failed to give weight to the strong presumption that 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 6, did not apply based on the absence of the word “means.” […] [I]n determining that the strong presumption was overcome, the district court erred: (1) in failing to appreciate that the word “module” has a number of dictionary meanings with structural connotations; (2) in placing undue emphasis on the word “module” separate and apart from the claimed expression “distributed learning control module”; and (3) in failing to give proper weight to the surrounding context of the rest of the claim language and the supporting text of the specification in reaching the conclusion that the drafter employed means- plus-function claiming.
Id. at *14.
 
 
 
11/05/2014
Category: Claim Construction  
 
 
 
 
 By: John Kirkpatrick, Contributor 
 
TitleInterval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc., No. 2013-1282, -1283, -1284, -1285 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 10, 2013).
Issues
[1] “Because the district court failed to appreciate that the language describing display ‘in an unobtrusive manner that does not distract a user’ is tied to specific type of display described in the specification [of invalidated claims 4–8, 11, 34, and 35 of U.S. Patent 6,034,652 (“the ’652 patent”)],” Interval argues, the district court “improperly divorced its analysis from the context of the written description and incorrectly focused on irrelevant hypotheticals . . . .”
Interval at *13-14 (text added, internal citation removed).
[2a] What is in dispute, and what we must consider in reviewing the construction of “attention manager,” [as recited in claims 15–18 of the ’652 patent] is whether the district court read the embodiments too narrowly and thus improperly limited the scope of the claim term.
Id. at *20 (text added).
[2b] Interval asks us to clarify that “instructions,” in the context of [claims 15–18 of the ’652 patent], “may encompass ‘data’” and “need not be written ‘in a programming language.’”
Id. at *22-23 (text added, internal citation removed).
Holdings
[1] [A] term of degree [such as "unobtrusive manner"] fails to provide sufficient notice of its scope if it depends “on the unpredictable vagaries of any one person’s opinion.” Interval at *13 (text added, internal citation removed). Had the phrase been cast as a definition instead of as an example—if the phrase had been preceded by “i.e.” instead of “e.g.”—then it would help provide the clarity that the specification lacks. [A] person of ordinary skill in the art would not understand the “e.g.”phrase to constitute an exclusive definition of “unobtrusive manner that does not distract a user.”
Id. at *18 (text added).
[2a] [T]he patents’ [lexicographical] description [...] supports a broader reading [than the traditional term]. [...] [However, not all of] Interval’s proposed modification [...] is not taken directly from the cited “lexicography.”
Id. at *21-22 (text added).
[2b] “[I]f ‘data’ is a type of ‘instructions,’ then the phrase ‘instructions and/or data’ would not make sense.” Id. at *23. [...] [W]e have cautioned against relying on dictionary definitions at the expense of a fair reading of the claims, which must be understood in light of the specification. [...] [T]he [dictionary definition] on which the district court relied suggests a broader construction of “instructions” than the court adopted.
Id. at *25 (text added).
 
 
 
11/02/2014
Category: Infringement 
 
 
 
 By: Christian Hannon, Contributor  
 
TitleFerring B.V., v. Watson Labs., No. 2014-1416 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 22, 2014).
IssueThis appeal raises questions of validity and infrignement[.]
Ferring B.V. at *8.
HoldingWe conclude that the district court did not err in holiding that Watson failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the asserted claims are invalid as obvious [...] [and] conclude that the district court's finding that Watson's generic tranexamic acid product infringes Ferring's asserted claims was not in accordance with law and therefore reverse that judgment. Id. at *2.
 
 
 
10/30/2014
Category: Infringement 
 
 
 
By: Jesus Hernandez, Blog Editor/Contributor  
 
TitleIris Corp. v. Japan Airlines Corp., No. 2010-1051 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 21, 2014).
IssueAL moved to dismiss IRIS’s suit for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). […] JAL argued that federal laws requiring the examination of passports conflict with the patent laws and therefore exempt JAL from infringement liability.
Iris Corp. at *3.
HoldingAccordingly, because JAL’s allegedly infringing acts are carried out “for the United States” under 28 U.S.C. § 1498(a), we affirm the district court’s decision to dismiss IRIS’s suit.
Id. at *6.
 
 
 
 
10/26/2014
Category: Claim Construction 
 
 
 
 By: John Kirkpatrick, Contributor 
 
TitleHill-Rom Serv., Inc. v. Stryker Corp., No. 2013-1450 (Fed. Cir. June 27, 2014).
Issues
[1] Hill-Rom argues that the district court erred by limiting “datalink” to [...] a wired datalink. It argues that “datalink” should be given its plain and ordinary meaning[.] Hill-Rom at *4 (text added). [Similarly,] Hill-Rom argues that the “interface board including a processor” should be given its plain and ordinary meaning[.] Id. at *12 (text added).
[2] The parties also dispute [...] whether the claimed “message validation information” must verify that the message is properly received or received exactly, bit by bit, as sent. Id. at *17 (text added).
[3] [D]uring prosecution of a later, unrelated patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,121,856 [...], the examiner rejected claims as obvious over three references [including] [the Ulrich reference], which has the same specification as the [asserted U.S. Patent No. 5,699,038 (’038 patent)]. [...] In response, Hill-Rom added a limitation that the monitoring device receives a user request for a specific subset of data and that the specific subset of data be transmitted without transmitting the other available data. Hill-Rom argued that adding this limitation overcame the obviousness rejection because this added limitation was not disclosed in the Ulrich reference[.] [The district court, upon its conclusion that judicial estoppel prevented Hill-Rom from any broader construction] construed “bed condition message” as “a message not generated in response to any user request that contains the status of all conditions the bed is capable of monitoring.”
Id. at *19-20 (text added).
Holdings
[1] There are no magic words that must be used, but to deviate from the plain and ordinary meaning of a claim term to one of skill in the art, the patentee must, with some language, indicate a clear intent to do so in the patent.
Hill-Rom Serv., Inc., at *7 (text added).
[2] A construction that would exclude the preferred embodiment “is rarely, if ever, correct and would require highly persuasive evidentiary support.”
Id. at *19 (internal citation removed, text added).
[3a] [W]e are bound by prior panel decisions. [...] [S]tatements made during prosecution of a later, unrelated patent cannot form the basis for judicial estoppel. [...] [3b] For judicial estoppel to apply, a parties’ later position must be clearly inconsistent with the earlier position.
Id. at *22 (text added).
 
 
10/23/2014
Category: Civil Procedure 
 
 
 
 By: Eric Paul Smith, Contributor
 
TitleMformation Techs., Inc. v. Research in Motion Ltd., Nos. 2012-1679, 2013-1123 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 22, 2014).
Issues
[1] Whether "Mformation waived its right to argue that the district court changed its claim construction post-verdict . . . ."
Mformation Techs., Inc., at *7.
[2] Whether "the district court impermissibly added an order-of-steps claim requirement postverdict in its JMOL opinion . . . ."
Id. at *9.
[3] "[W]hether claim 1 of the '917 patent requires that a connection be completely established before transmission."
Id. at *12.
[4] Whether "BlackBerry is . . . entitled to JMOL even if an order-of-steps requirement is read into the claims."
Id. at *15.
Holdings
[1] "Mformation did not waive its right to challenge whether the district court altered its claim construct post-verdict . . . ."
Id. at *9.
[2] "[T]he district court at most clarified its previous construction that was already present in the jury instructions."
Id. at *11.
[3] "[C]laim 1 requires that a connection be established before transmission. . . . [T]he separate sub-step for establishing a connection would become 'superfluous' if we concluded that a connection did not have to be established (completed) before transmission."
Id. at *14.
[4] "[W]e affirm the district court's grant of JMOL of no infringement."
Id. at *16.

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