The Federal Circuit has rejected the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) standard for what constitutes a “covered business method” (CBM) patent as overly broad (2015-1812). In an opinion issued on November 21, the court ruled that the PTAB had exceeded its authority by implementing a definition of a CBM patent that exceeds the statutory requirements established by the America Invents Act (AIA). By allowing CBM review of patents with subject matter “incidental to” or “complementary to” a financial activity, the court held, the Board has “render[ed] superfluous the limits” set by Congress. The Federal Circuit’s opinion stemmed from Unwired Planet LLC’s appeal of a final decision in a CBM review filed by Google (CBM2014-00006) against a location services patent (7,203,752).
The Federal Circuit has affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) cancellation of a location-based services patent (7,024,205) asserted in district court by Unwired Planet LLC against Google (2015-1810). In an opinion issued on November 15, the court held that the PTAB had correctly found that all six claims from the ‘205 patent are invalid as obvious over prior art in an inter partes review filed by Google (IPR2014-00036). In light of that decision, the court also dismissed as moot an appeal of the Board’s final ruling in a Google covered business method (CBM) review (CBM2014-00005) against the ‘205 patent (2015-1811). Unwired Planet’s sole lawsuit against Google (3:12-cv-00504) remains stayed pending the outcome of the PTAB proceedings against the ‘205 patent here resolved by the Federal Circuit, with the other nine patents-in-suit already dropped from the case.
The Federal Circuit has overturned a judgment of non-infringement in Unwired Planet LLC’s infringement suit against Apple (2015-1725). In a precedential opinion issued on July 22, 2016, the court partially vacated multiple summary judgment orders handed down in April and May 2015 by District Judge Vince Chhabria, who had ruled that Apple did not infringe four of the patents-in-suit (6,317,831; 6,321,092; 6,532,446; 6,647,260). However, the Federal Circuit reversed as to three of the asserted patents, holding that Judge Chhabria had relied on improper constructions of certain terms from the ‘446 and ‘260 patents, and that he had applied the wrong legal standard with respect to the ‘092 patent.
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