Docket No. 2016-2017, -2026, -2027
IPR2014-01226, -01463, -01544; IPR2015-00825, -00852, -00854
REYNA, LINN, CHEN
June 6, 2017
Brief Summary: Board’s conclusion of invalidity for obviousness based on its claim construction found to be supported by substantial evidence and affirmed.
Summary: Crossroads appealed PTAB decision finding US 6,425,035; 7,934,041; and 7,051,147 directed to a system for providing network-based computer storage unpatentable for obviousness in view of the “CRD 550 User’s Manual” and secondary references (HP Journal, Fibre Channel Standard, and QLogic Data Sheet). The FC panel explained that obviousness is a question of law based on factual inquiries relating to the scope and content of the prior art, differences between the prior art and the claims at issue, the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art, and any objective indicia of nonobviousness (Ivera Med. Corp., FC 2015). The FC panel also explained the PTAB’s ultimate determination of obviousness is a legal question reviewed de novo (In re Mouttet, FC 2012) and that the factual findings are reviewed for substantial evidence (In re Gleave, FC 2009; In re Gartside, FC 2000 (“Substantial evidence is ‘such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.’”)) Under the broadest reasonable construction (BRC (Cuozzo, US 2016)), the Board construed the term “map” (“maps between devices”) in the independent claims which Crossroads argued was erroneous but the FC panel did not find error with the construction. Given that the construction was found to be correct, the Board’s obviousness conclusion regarding the independent claims was affirmed. Crossroads also argued limitations (“unique identifier”, “world wide name”, “host device ID”) of dependent claims 14 and 24 were not disclosed by the prior art references but the FC panel disagreed since, as construed by the PTAB and described by the specification (“[e]ven Crossroads’ own patent specification uses identifiers in its map which uniquely identify a device”), the limitations are found in the reference. The FC panel also noted, and did not disagree, “that Crossroads’ arguments attacked the CRD-550 manual individually, without reference to [the] combination”. It therefore found the Board’s conclusion to be supported by substantial evidence and affirmed the decision.