PTAB Invalidates Uniloc Software Activation Patent Asserted in 13-Year Campaign
- March 24, 2016
Category: Patent Litigation FeatureMarket Sectors: E-Commerce and Software, Networking
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has invalidated a Uniloc software activation patent (5,490,216) asserted by the Australian NPE in an expansive, 13-year litigation campaign that has targeted over 175 companies. In a final decision issued on March 10, 2016 in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding filed by Ubisoft, Kofax, Cambium Learning Group, and Perfect World Entertainment (IPR2014-01453), the PTAB ruled that the petitioners had shown by a preponderance of the evidence that all 20 claims of the ‘216 patent were invalid as anticipated by, or obvious over, prior art. The majority of the claims were invalidated under a patent that issued in 1996 to SoftLock Services Inc. (5,509,070; the “Schull patent”), which the petitioners successfully argued had anticipated claims 1-11 and 17-20 and rendered obvious claims 10 and 11 of the ‘216 patent. Furthermore, the Board rejected Uniloc’s arguments that the Schull patent should not be considered prior art, finding that it derived from an application that issued before the one that led to the ‘216 patent. The PTAB also ruled that the remaining claims are invalid in light of several other prior art references, accepting the petitioners’ arguments that claims 12-14 were both anticipated and obvious and that claims 15 and 16 were rendered obvious.