We will be discussing two Federal Circuit cases during our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, August 6, 2012. Brief synopses are presented below.

Grober v. Mako Prod. Inc., Case No. 2010-1519, -1527 (Fed. Cir. July 30, 2012) (attached).

Grober owns patent No. 6,611,662 towards a platform for stabilizing a camera for filming motion pictures from moving vehicles.  In 2004, Grober sued Mako for infringement of the ’662 patent and then Mako filed an inter partesreexamination.  While the reexamination was still pending, the district court held that Mako’s products did not infringe the ’662 patent and dismissed.  The district court looked at the claim term “payload platform” and determined that the term is limited to a horizontal surface, based on Grober’s statements made to the PTO in the pending reexamination.  The PTO eventually confirmed the validity of the asserted claims in the reexamination.

On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that Grober’s reexamination statements were not direct enough to constitute prosecution disclaimer.  Grober’s statements were not an unambiguous disavowal that clearly and unmistakably disclaims claim scope or meaning.  The Federal Circuit looked to the claim language and specification of the’662 patent to more broadly define “payload platform” to mean “a three-dimensional structure upon which the payload (e.g., a camera) is directly mounted upon or affixed to.”   Case remanded for reconsideration.

01 Communique Lab., Inc. v LogMeIn, Inc., Case No. 2011-1403 (Fed. Cir. July 31, 2012) (attached).

01 Communique owns Patent No. 6,928,479, which relates to technology that enables one computer to access another computer remotely via the Internet.  The patent discloses use of a locator server computer as an intermediary between a remote computer and a personal computer. In 2010, 01 Communique sued LogMeIn alleging infringement of the ’479 patent.  The district court entered summary judgment of noninfringement, based on construction of a single claim term “location facility.”  The ’479 patent describes a “location facility” as software on the locator server computer that locates the personal computer.  The district court held that the patent was limited to the location facility being on a single server, while LogMeIn’s software uses multiple servers.

The Federal Circuit vacated the summary judgment of noninfringement, finding the claim construction erroneous.  The Federal Circuit said the patent wasn’t limited to a single server, and ruled instead it could comprise “one or more computers.”

All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, August 6, 2012 at Noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Noelle Attalla by 9 am Monday morning.