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.
Unwired Planet[NPE]filed two separate suits against Apple and Google, alleging that the defendants’ cloud messaging systems, map and location systems, mobile phones, mobile app systems and services, music players, and tablets each infringe 10 patents related to wireless communications, location based services, and wireless application protocol. The patents asserted against the two defendants in these suits do not overlap. In April 2012, Openwave Systems sold its product business and changed its name to Unwired Planet, retaining ownership of the patents. According to the USPTO, Openwave has been awarded 155 US patents to date. In August 2011, Openwave filed suits in district court and the ITC against Apple and RIM over five patents not among the 20 patents asserted in the two most recently filed suits against Apple and Google. The district court action against Apple and Google was stayed in October 2011 pending resolution of the ITC investigation (ITC-337-TA-809). 9/19, District of Nevada, 3:2012cv00504; 3:2012cv00505.
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