09/22/15

IN RE: ROTATABLE TECHNOLOGIES, LLC [RULE 36 JUDGMENT]


Category: Claim Construction 

Written By: Michael B. Pierorazio

Rotatable Technologies LLC owns Patent No. 6,326,978 for a selectively rotating window on a computer display having a frame and display portion. The issue before the Patent and Trademark Appeals Board was whether some limitations recited in the claims, “computer display window”, “display portion”, “toggling the window between two preselected orientations”, were properly defined within the Specification. The question now before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is whether or not to stand behind the Patent and Trademark Appeals Board’s decision.

BACKGROUND: Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (Petitioner) requested inter partes review (IPR) of claims 1–18 of U.S. Patent No. 6,326,978 (‘978) held by Rotatable Technologies LLC (Patent Owner). Specific limitations the board focused on were “computer display window”, “display portion”, “toggling the window between two preselected orientations”, and several 35 USC §112, ¶6 limitations. For the limitations not invoking §112, ¶6 PTAB repeatedly found broad definitions supported by evidence proffered by Petitioner as correct claim construction because the ‘978 Claims in light of its Specification repeatedly failed to exclude broad construction. For each invocation of § 112, ¶6 PTAB found each limitation to broadly include a general purpose computer that implements the disclosed algorithm for performing the claimed function. Once PTAB established support for broad claim construction it found claims 1–18 of ‘978 unpatentable as obvious and denied Patent Owner’s proposed amended claims because they were also unpatentable.

POSTURE: Patent Owner appeals the decision of PTAB in No. IPR2013-00248 before the CAFC.

DECISION: Whether PTAB’s claim construction for the disputed limitations is correct and if that claim construction supports the finding of obviousness and denial of the proposed amended claims. The CAFC offers deference to PTAB’s factual findings under the substantial evidence standard of review and offers no deference to PTAB’s legal conclusions reviewing them de novo. The CAFC determined that all of PTAB’s factual findings are supported by substantial evidence and that PTAB makes no errors of law in their final written decision. CAFC affirms each of PTAB’s legal and factual findings under Rule 36 Judgment.

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