Docket Nos. 2008-1462, -1463, -1464, -1465
PROST, SCHALL, REYNA
August 9, 2013
Brief summary: DC grant of SJ to DaimlerChrysler for non-infringement, anticipation and exceptional case under 35 USC § 285 affirmed. Breach of warranty suit also considered but not discussed in this summary.
Summary: Taurus IP alleged DaimlerChrysler’s websites infringed the claims of its US 6,141,658 (“a computer system for managing product knowledge related to products offered for sale by a selling entity”). In this appeal, the FC panel affirmed the DC construction of all disputed claim terms, affirmed the invalidity of claims 16 and 27 of the ‘658 patent, affirmed judgement of noninfringement, and affirmed the finding of an exceptional case under 35 USC § 285. The panel also considered appeals from a Breach of Warranty suit and the DC decisions in that suit were also affirmed (not further dicussed in this review). The claim terms construed by the DC were “user” (defined as “a person who is capable of creating and editing user-defined relationship information”), “user-defined relationship information” (defined as “the set of rules specified by the user that governs the relationship between data items within the data model”), and “user-defined relationship items” (defined as “individual rules specified by the user that belong to and interconnect data instance items”). Based on these constructions, the DC granted DaimlerChrysler SJ of noninfringement. The FC panel agreed based on the plain language of the claims and specification (Phillips, FC 2005 and Medrad, FC 2005). The DC also found claims 16 and 27 anticipated under former 35 USC § 102(e)(2) (patent to another filed in US before applicant’s invention) by US Patent No. 5,825,651 (the Trilogy patent). In it analysis, the DC did not accept Taurus’ proposed evidence of prior conception and reduction to practice. The FC panel agreed (e.g., proferred “Appendix A” does not conclusively show, and witness testimony could not support, earlier date of conception). Regarding the DC finding of no infringement, the FC panel found no error with the decision and that Taurus “merely disagrees with the district court’s legal conclusion that web surfers do not fall within the court’s construction of ‘users'” and “did not identify any specific factural issues that would preclude summary judgment” (TechSearch, FC 2002). The DC conclusion that the case was exceptional under 35 USC § 285 was also affirmed becuase “Taurus improperly asserted and maintained its positions in the litigation” (“Taurus’s proposed constructions of ‘user’, and the related terms discussed above, fall below the threshold required to avoid a finding of objective baselessness” (Raylon, FC 2012)) and “subjectively knew that the DaimlerChrysler Patent Suit lacked a reasonable basis and was, therefore, pursued and maintained in bad faith (“[patentee’s] proposed claim construction…ignored the entirety of the specification and the prosecution history”) (MarcTec, FC 2012). All of DC decisions regarding the breach of warranty suit were also affirmed and more information on these issues may be found in the opinion.