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.
Square is the newest target of Unwired Planet in a suit asserting three patents. The patents-in-suit generally relate to wireless device notifications and location-based services (7,376,433; 7,711,100; 8,275,359). While the asserted-patents cover similar technology areas to those previously used in litigation by Unwired, these specific patents have not been used in prior lawsuits. The litigated patents were developed by Openwave, the predecessor of Unwired. Square’s app is accused of infringement, both the financial transactions aspect of the app and its local search function. Unwired has targeted Apple, Google, and RIM in previous suits. 10/20, District of Nevada, 3:13cv00579
Access to the full article is currently available to RPX members only. Please contact us if you need further information.