Inter Partes Review Terminated Where PTAB Found That Challenged Claims Were Indefinite

by Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Contact

Petitioner, BlackBerry Corporation and BlackBerry Limited ("Blackberry"), filed a petition on October 30, 2012, for an inter partes review ("IPR") of claims 1-12 of US Patent No. 6,871,048 ("the ?048 patent"). On March 18, 2013, the Board instituted trial on claims 1-12 of the ?048 patent based on all grounds of unpatentability alleged in the petition.

After institution of trial, Patent Owner, MobileMedia Ideas LLC ("MobileMedia"), filed a patent owner response, Blackberry filed a reply, and an oral hearing was held on October 18, 2013. On December 16, 2013, the parties filed a joint motion to terminate the IPR proceeding, which the PTAB only granted in part, terminating the proceeding with respect to Blackberry, but not with respect to MobileMedia.

In its decision, the PTAB first addressed that it must engage in claim construction before it can analyze questions of obviousness or anticipation. The PTAB also noted that "[n]ot every such patentability analysis, however, necessarily ends with a determination with respect to the prior art. The language used in a claim to define the scope of coverage, read in light of the specification, may be indefinite and thus fail to indicate the scope of the claimed invention."

The PTAB then addressed the law surround means-plus-function claims, particularly with respect to computer implemented claims. "The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has given considerable, clear, and consistent guidance, with regard to the construction of a computer-implemented means-plus-function claim element under 35 U.S.C. § 112, sixth paragraph. Except for a narrow exception explained in In re Katz, 639 F.3d 1303, 1316 (Fed. Cir. 2011), concerning generic functions performed by a general-purpose computer, such as "processing," "receiving" and "storing," a computer-implemented means-plus-function element is indefinite unless the specification discloses the specific algorithm used by the computer to perform the recited function."

The PTAB then turned to the specific claims at issue. "In the circumstance here, involving a specialized function of encrypting information signals, the corresponding structure to the means-plus-function recitation cannot be a general-purpose computer, but must be a special purpose computer programmed to perform a disclosed algorithm causing the computer to accomplish the recited function. WMS Gaming, 184 F.3d at 1349, see also Harris Corp. v. Ericsson, Inc., 417 F.3d 1241, 1253 (Fed. Cir. 2005) ("A computer-implemented means-plus-function term is limited to the corresponding structure disclosed in the specification and equivalents thereof, and the corresponding structure is the algorithm.").

The PTAB also found that "[i]t is not in dispute that the specification of the ?048 patent discloses no specific algorithm with which to program the microprocessor to achieve the function of "encrypting the information signals prior to storage in said memory means." In its petition, Blackberry states that the ?048 patent does not disclose an algorithm for performing the claimed encrypting function. At final hearing, counsel for MobileMedia acknowledged that the specification of the '048 patent does not describe an encryption algorithm. "

After addressing additional arguments of MobileMedia, the PTAB remained unconvinced and determined that the claims were indefinite. "For the foregoing reasons, we are unable to determine obviousness of claims 1-12 of the ?048 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 103. Accordingly, it is appropriate to terminate the proceeding under 37 C.F.R. § 42.72."

Blackberry Corporation v. Mobilemedia Ideas, LLC, Case IPR 2013-00036 (PTAB March 7, 2014)

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Contact
more
less

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.