We will be discussing two Federal Circuit cases during our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, October 22, 2012. Brief synopses are presented below.
Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Case No. 2012-1507 (Fed. Cir. October 11, 2012) (attached).
On February 8, 2012, Apple brought suit against Samsung, alleging that Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone infringes eight of Apple’s patents, particularly U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604. Apple filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the sales of the Galaxy Nexus. The district court issued the injunction based on the alleged infringement of the ’604 patent.
The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded stating that the district court abused its discretion in determining that the irreparable harm factor weighed in favor of entering an injunction. “Regardless of the extent to which Apple may be injured by the sales of the Galaxy Nexus, there is not a sufficient showing that the harm flows from Samsung’s alleged infringement.” Slip Op. at 12. The Court also looked to the specification and the prosecution history of the ’604 patent in deciding that the district court erred in its claim construction in its likelihood of success analysis.
Tech. Patents LLC v. T-Mobile (UK) Ltd., Case No. 2011-1581 (Fed. Cir. October 17, 2012) (attached).
Technology Patents LLC brought suit against more than 100 domestic and foreign defendants alleging infringement of U.S. Reissue Patent No. RE39,870. The ‘870 patent relates to a global paging system that allows for paging of a user in countries where the user may be located, and as identified by the user. For example Claim 4 recites:
4. A system for paging a receiving user in a country-selective paging system, comprising:
a paging system spanning a plurality of different countries of the world, the paging system including a plurality of servers, and wireless transmitters in different countries for transmitting paging messages to receiving users;
interconnecting servers so as to permit digital communication of signals between the plurality of servers via at least the packet-switched digital data network;
a first website or server located in a first country for allowing an originating user to page the receiving user who may be located in a second country different from the first country, the originating user not necessarily knowing what country the receiving user is located in;
wherein the paging system determines if the second country is currently designated by the receiving user as a designated country in which the paging system is to attempt to page the receiving user;
when the paging system determines that the second country has been designated by the receiving user, means for sending a paging communication via at least the packet-switched digital data network to a second website or server, the second website or server being in communication with a wireless transmitter located in the second country, and wherein the paging communication causes the second website or server to initiate paging the receiving user via the wireless transmitter in the second country; and
when the paging system determines that the second country has not been designated by the receiving user, the paging system initiates paging operations in another country in a predetermined order in an attempt to page the receiving user.
The district court granted summary judgment of noninfringement to the domestic carrier defendants.
Technology Patents LLC appealed the district court’s claim construction and noninfringement rulings. One of the terms at issue was “receiving user.” The district court construed this term to mean a “person or party,” while Technology Patents argued that it means “the combination of the person and the handset.” The Federal Circuit agreed with the district court, looking at the specification of the patent to determine that the term “receiving user” does not refer to a “person-pager combination.”
Regarding the grant of summary judgment of noninfringement, the Federal Circuit mostly agreed with the district court. However, the Court vacated in part and remanded as to the grant of summary judgment of noninfringement to the software providers on some of the claims. The Federal Circuit referred to the specification in deciding that there was no infringement, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.
All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, October 22, 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.