Needless to say, a finding of exceptionality under 35 U.S.C. § 285 can have crippling consequences. Just ask Rembrandt Technologies, LP, which recently was slapped with an order to pay the prevailing defendants in a consolidated infringement action roughly $46 million in attorney fees and nearly $5 million in costs.
On Monday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a Northern District of California jury verdict that Apple did not infringe two patents owned by GPNE Corp. GPNE had sued Apple for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,570,954 and 7,792,432, which are directed to a two-way paging system that operates independently from a telephone system.
On July 12, 2016, Magistrate Judge Payne in the Eastern District of Texas issued an order prohibiting a plaintiff from making disparaging remarks about the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and its examiners. Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. brought two cases against LG Electronics, Inc. on September 26, 2014 for infringement of patents relating to tablet and smartphone wireless networking. The patents are part of a portfolio of patents that Core Wireless’ parent company, Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc., acquired from Nokia Corp. The cases were consolidated for pretrial purposes with the individual cases remaining active for venue determinations and trial. In the trial for the first case, the jury found that LG had infringed two of the patents-in-suit and that LG had failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that any of the patents-in-suit were invalid. The jury awarded Core Wireless $3.5 million. Jury selection for the second case is a new trial was set for September 12, 2016.
On March 21, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Samsung v. Apple, No. 15-777, on the issue of damages for infringement of a design patent. Samsung Elecs. Co. v. Apple Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1453 (U.S. 2016). Specifically, the Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari limited to the question of “Where a design patent is applied to only a component of a product, should an award of infringer’s profits be limited to those profits attributable to the component?” 35 U.S.C. § 289 provides for an “[a]dditional remedy for infringement of design patent” wherein “[w]hoever during the term of a patent for a design, without license of the owner, (1) applies the patented design, or any colorable imitation thereof, to any article of manufacture for the purpose of sale, or (2) sells or exposes for sale any article of manufacture to which such design or colorable imitation has been applied shall be liable to the owner to the extent of his total profit.”
On May 26, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied Patent Owner Blue Calypso, LLC’s request that the Patent and Trademark Office not publish a certificate cancelling dependent claims 8-12, 14, and 23 of U.S. Patent 7,664,516 (“’516 Patent”) covering a method for peer-to-peer advertising between mobile communication devices. Blue Calypso alleged that the Final Written Decision erred in canceling the aforementioned dependent claims as anticipated when the independent claim from which they depend was not found to be anticipated.
A Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) panel granted petitioner Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s (“Samsung”) motion for joinder with IPR2015-00806, which was filed by Google Inc. and relates to U.S. Patent No. 7,765,482 (the “’482 Patent”). Although the patent owner, Summit 6 LLC, did not oppose the motion for joinder, the PTAB still analyzed the motion to determine whether the circumstances warranted joinder.
Judge Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas denied defendant Genband US LLC’s motion for summary judgment that plaintiff Metaswitch Networks Ltd.’s patent, relating to the control of communication sessions in a telecommunications network, was invalid. Metaswitch argued that the prior art patent application is fundamentally different from the asserted patent and does not disclose even a single limitation of the asserted claim 8. In general, Metaswitch’s arguments related to the asserted patent and prior art reference having different network topologies.
A Texas magistrate judge has found that two patents related to Voice over IP networking do claim patentable subject matter and has recommended denial of summary judgment of invalidity. Plaintiff Genband sued Metaswitch Networks over patents relating to networking and firewall systems in a voice over IP network. Claim 1 of U.S. Patent 6,772,210 recites a system that performs address translation on IP messages transmitted between two separate networks. Metaswitch argued that the ’210 patent was directed to the abstract idea of address mapping and translation and nothing more. The court disagreed. Citing the Federal Circuit’s DDR Holdings decision, the court held that even if claim 1 could be characterized as embodying an abstract idea, it is patent-eligible because it includes a combination of elements that amounts to more than the ineligible concept itself. According to the court, the claim recites two separate devices operating in two different IP networks, hence implementing the idea in context of a non-generic computer system. Genband’s U.S. Patent 7,047,561 claims a method for classifying IP packets based on their type and performing different operations on those packets. Here too, the court held that the claimed method was implemented in the context of a specific, non-generic computer system, and improved the functioning of the computer itself. The court also found that claimed elements such as the “computer network” were “the only reason one would perform the claimed method in the first place,” and these elements imposed a meaningful limit on the scope of a claim.