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Core sued Apple, alleging infringement of two patents concerning technology for wireless communications in a digital network. Claim 14 is directed to a mobile station, such as a mobile telephone, configured to synchronize to a base station using the same timing information for the uplink and downlink channels. Claim 19 is directed to a receiver, such as a mobile telephone, that can detect predetermined control messages where they are not otherwise expected. A jury found that Apple infringed both asserted claims and that neither was invalid. The court rejected Apple’s argument that the 151 patent was unenforceable due to implied waiver. The Federal Circuit affirmed in part. The jury’s finding of infringement of claim 14 was supported by substantial evidence. The issue of validity came down to a disagreement between the experts; the jury could reasonably credit the testimony of Core’s expert over that of Apple’s expert. The court remanded with respect to Apple’s implied waiver theory of unenforceability, based on actions taken by Nokia, the original assignee of one patent, during its participation with the standards-setting organization referenced in the patent. The district court did not make findings regarding whether either party inequitably benefited from Nokia’s failure to disclose, or whether Nokia’s conduct was sufficiently egregious to justify finding implied waiver without regard to any benefit resulting from that misconduct. The court reversed in part; Core’s theory of infringement is inadequate to support a judgment on claim 19. View "Core Wireless Licensing, S.A.R.L. v. Apple, Inc." on Justia Law

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PI filed four petitions with the Patent and Trademark Office under 35 U.S.C. 311(b) requesting inter partes review of the claims of three patents. The patents share a priority date of June 4, 1997. The Board denied the petitions, finding that PI failed to show that any reference cited in the petitions was publicly accessible before that date and that the relied-upon references were not invalidating prior art. The petitions relied on three references: a paper presented at a 1993 conference and two data sheets. The Board rejected the references under 35 U.S.C. 102 and 311(b), concluding that they were not printed publications available to the public. The Federal Circuit denied relief, rejecting claims of procedural irregularities; 35 U.S.C. 314(d), states that “[t]he determination by the Director whether to institute an inter partes review under this section shall be final and nonappealable.” A disappointed petitioner cannot by-pass the statutory bar on appellate review simply by directing its challenge to asserted procedural irregularities rather than to the substance of the non-institution ruling. View "In re: Power Integrations, Inc." on Justia Law

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Luminara owns three patents for making flameless candles that look and behave like real candles. At Liown’s request, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instituted inter partes review (IPR) of 31 claims of those patents. The Board first addressed whether the IPR of the 319 patent was time-barred under 35 U.S.C. 315(b), because the petition was filed more than a year after Liown was served with a complaint alleging infringement by Candella, Luminara’s predecessor. The district court had entered a voluntary dismissal without prejudice. Luminara later commenced another lawsuit against Liown, again alleging infringement of the 319 patent as to the same products. The IPR petition was within one year of service of the second action. The Board rejected the timeliness argument because the first action had been voluntarily dismissed without prejudice, ‘leav[ing] the parties as though the action had never been brought.’” The Board found all 31 claims were either anticipated or would have been obvious over the prior art. The Federal Circuit vacated the decision as to the 319 patent and remanded for dismissal of that IPR, holding that the section 315(b) time-bar applies, and affirmed the other IPRs. The Board lacked jurisdiction to institute the time-barred IPR. View "Luminara Worldwide, LLC v. Iancu" on Justia Law

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In 2001, Inforocket sued Keen for infringement suit of the 836 patent. Keen brought its own infringement suit against Inforocket based on another patent, before the same judge. The court granted Inforocket summary judgment of noninfringement. While its appeal was pending, Keen acquired Inforocket. Both suits were dismissed “without prejudice.” Keen changed its name to Ingenio.and successfully requested ex parte reexamination of the 836 patent. Several claims were canceled, others were determined to be patentable as amended, and new claims were added. Ingenio was later sold twice. CTC acquired the 836 patent, and, in 2012, asserted infringement against multiple parties. In 2013, Ingenio and others filed a single IPR petition challenging claims of the 836 patent. CTC argued that 35 U.S.C. 315(b) barred institution of IPR proceedings, and that Ingenio lacked standing because Ingenio was served with the 2001 infringement complaint. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board found the suit was not barred because the 2001 suit was “dismissed voluntarily without prejudice … leaving the parties as though the action had never been brought.” The Board did not address whether the patent at issue in that suit is the same patent, in light of interim amendments, or whether section 315(b)’s time bar should be determined on a “petitioner-by-petitioner” basis. The Board determined that several claims either were anticipated by or would have been obvious in view of prior art. The Federal Circuit, having previously held that section 315(b) time-bar determinations are appealable,” vacated. The petition was time-barred and the Board lacked jurisdiction to institute IPR proceedings. View "Click-to-Call Technologies, LP v. Ingenio, Inc." on Justia Law

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The patent describes an ATM, capable of performing banking transactions, including “automatically depositing a bundle of cashes and cheques inserted at once” by separating deposited bundles into individual banknotes; verifying the authenticity or abnormality of each note; sorting and processing the notes based on how each was verified; and preparing the notes for storage safes. One component recited in each of the nine claims is a “cheque standby unit.” The specification does not mention a “cheque standby unit,” but references a “cheque temporary standby unit” in three portions of the detailed description. The International Trade Commission found that Diebold violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing ATM components that infringe the claims, all of which recite the term “cheque standby unit.” The Federal Circuit reversed, finding that the term “cheque standby unit” is a means-plus-function term subject to 35 U.S.C. 112, para. 6, which lacks corresponding structure disclosed in the specification. The claimed function is “holding the at least one authentic cheque to return the at least one authentic cheque to the user responsive to receiving user instructions canceling depositing of the at least one authentic cheque.” A person of ordinary skill in the art would be unable to recognize the structure in the specification and associate it with the corresponding function in the claim. View "Diebold Nixdorf, Inc. v. International Trade Commission" on Justia Law

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BSG sued BuySeasons for infringement of three patents related to systems and methods for indexing information stored in wide access databases. The patents teach that the “self-evolving” aspect of the claimed invention addresses the shortcomings of prior art by enabling users to “add new parameters for use in describing items.” The district court dismissed the suit on grounds that none of the asserted patent claims were patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The asserted claims are directed to the abstract idea of considering historical usage information while inputting data. BSG does not purport to have invented database structures that allow database users to input item data as a series of parameters and values. The recitation of a database structure slightly more detailed than a generic database does not save the asserted claims; a claim is not patent eligible merely because it applies an abstract idea in a narrow way. The only alleged unconventional feature of BSG’s claims is the requirement that users are guided by summary comparison usage information or relative historical usage information but this simply restates an abstract idea. View "BSG Tech LLC v. BuySeasons, Inc." on Justia Law

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Eight of Rembrandt’s at-issue patents address cable modem technology; the ninth involves over-the-air signals. Rembrandt filed multiple infringement suits against dozens of cable companies, cable equipment manufacturers, and broadcast networks. The cases were consolidated. After several years of litigation, the court entered final judgment against Rembrandt on all claims. Many of the defendants sought attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. 285. Nearly four years after the litigation ended, the court issued a brief order granting that motion, declaring the case exceptional, and granting the bulk of the requests for fees, including nearly all of the attorney fees incurred in the litigation: more than $51 million. The Federal Circuit affirmed the exceptional case designation but remanded, finding that the court erred by failing to analyze fully the connection between the fees awarded and Rembrandt’s misconduct. While the court’s findings that that Rembrandt: wrongfully gave fact witnesses payments contingent on the outcome of the litigation; engaged in, or failed to prevent, widespread document spoliation; and should have known that the revived patents were unenforceable, were “remarkably terse” and “shed little light on its justifications” none of those findings was based “on an erroneous view of the law or on a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence. View "In re Rembrandt Technologies, LP Patent Litigation" on Justia Law

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This appeal stemmed from a dispute between a paleta company in Mexico (Prolacto) and a paleta company in northern California (PLM) over a phrase "La Michoacana" and an image of a girl in traditional dress holding a paleta ("Indian Girl"). At issue was whether Prolacto or PLM owned the contested phrase and image and which paleta company unfairly competed or otherwise infringed the other's trademark rights. The DC Circuit held that Prolacto's false-association claim failed because Prolacto failed to establish a right to the "La Michoacana" mark or injury from PLM's use sufficient to establish false association in violation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's judgment for PLM on that claim. The court also affirmed the district court's conclusion that Prolacto failed to establish that PLM's use of the Tocumbo Statements and other advertising materials constituted false advertising in violation of Prolacto's rights under section 43(a)(1)(B). Finally, the court affirmed the district court's conclusion that Prolacto infringed PLM's use of its registered marks. The court found no merit in Prolacto's remaining arguments. View "Paleteria La Michoacana, Inc. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A" on Justia Law

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Bruce Munro and his studio appealed the district court's dismissal of his complaint against Lucy and the denial of his motion to amend his complaint. Munro's claims stemmed from Lucy's "Light Forest" exhibition and advertising campaign that infringed on Munro's works. The Eighth Circuit affirm the district court's decision to dismiss Munro's trade dress, fraud, and tortious interference claims as well as its denial of Munro's motion to amend these claims because the proposed amendments were futile. The court held, however, that Munro sufficiently pleaded a trademark claim so as to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Accordingly, the court reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Munro v. Lucy Activewear, Inc." on Justia Law

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Yellowfin filed suit against Barker Boatworks and Kevin Barker, alleging claims for trade dress infringement and false designation of origin under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, common law unfair competition, common law trade dress infringement, and violation of Florida's Uniform Trade Secret Act (FUTSA). The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants. The court, weighing the likelihood of confusion factors holistically, held that the district court did not err in holding that Yellowfin could not, as a matter of law, prove a likelihood of confusion between Barker Boatworks' trade dress and its own. Therefore, the court held that the district court properly rejected the rest of Yellowfin's claims related to trade dress and consumer confusion. The court rejected Yellowfin's claims under FUTSA and held that Yellowfin failed to show that Barker allegedly misappropriated Source Information and Customer Information trade secrets. View "Yellowfin Yachts, Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC" on Justia Law