Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sightsound v. Apple: CAFC can review PTO on whether patents are CBM

From the precedential decision:

SightSound Technologies, LLC (“SightSound”) is the
owner of U.S. Patent No. 5,191,573 (the “’573 patent”) and
5,966,440 (the “’440 patent”). Apple Inc. (“Apple”) petitioned
the United States Patent and Trademark Office
(“PTO”) for covered business method (“CBM”) review of
claims 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the ’573 patent and claims 1, 64,
and 95 of the ’440 patent. The PTO granted Apple’s
petition and instituted CBM review. The Patent Trial
and Appeal Board (“the Board”) issued a final decision
finding all the challenged claims would have been obvious.
SightSound appealed.

We hold that we lack jurisdiction to review the PTO’s
decision to consider issues not explicitly raised in the
petitions. We do, however, have jurisdiction to review
whether the patents qualify as CBM patents. We affirm
the Board’s determination that the ’573 and ’440 patents
qualify as CBM patents. Finally, we affirm the Board’s
final decision with respect to claim construction and

link: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/15-1159.Opinion.12-11-2015.1.PDF


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