Saturday, February 09, 2019

Continental Circuits prevails in appeal against Intel at CAFC

The outcome indicated an error in claim construction by the district court of Arizona:

Continental Circuits LLC appeals from the judgment
of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
of noninfringement of the asserted claims of U.S. Patents 7,501,582
(“the ’582 patent”); 8,278,560 (“the ’560
patent”); 8,581,105 (“the ’105 patent”); and 9,374,912 (“the
’912 patent”). See Final Judgment, Cont’l Circuits LLC v.
Intel Corp., No. 16-2026 (D. Ariz. Sept. 12, 2017), ECF No.
273. The parties stipulated to a judgment of noninfringement,
see Stipulation & Joint Motion, Cont’l Circuits LLC
v. Intel Corp., No. 16-2026 (D. Ariz. Sept. 7, 2017), ECF No.
266, based on the district court’s claim construction of certain claim terms,
see Cont’l Circuits LLC v. Intel Corp., No.
16-2026, 2017 WL 3478659 (D. Ariz. Aug. 9, 2017) (“Claim
Construction Order”). Because we conclude that the district court erred
in its claim construction, we vacate the
judgment of noninfringement and remand for further proceedings.

An issue was reading a limitation into the claims:

The district court construed the Category 1 Terms to
require that the “surface,” “removal,” or “etching” of the
dielectric material be “produced by a repeated desmear process.”
See Claim Construction Order, 2017 WL 3478659, at
*2–3 (emphasis added). The district court concluded that
Intel had “met the exacting standard required” to read a
limitation into the claims. Id. at *3. Specifically, the district court
found that the specification not only “repeatedly
distinguishe[d] the process covered by the patent from the
prior art and its use of a ‘single desmear process,’” id. at *4,
but also characterized “the present invention” as using a
repeated desmear process, see id. at *5.

The CAFC take on Teva is recited:

Claim construction is ultimately a question of law that
we review de novo. Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc.,
135 S. Ct. 831, 841 (2015). Any subsidiary factual findings
based on extrinsic evidence “must be reviewed for clear error on appeal.”
Id. But “when the district court reviews
only evidence intrinsic to the patent (the patent claims and
specifications, along with the patent’s prosecution history),
the judge’s determination will amount solely to a determination of law,”
which we review de novo. Id.

Continental prevailed:

We agree with Continental that the district court erred
in limiting the claims to require a repeated desmear process.
In construing claims, district courts give claims their
ordinary and customary meaning, which is “the meaning
that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in
the art in question at the time of the invention.” Phillips
v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312–13 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en
banc). “[B]ecause patentees frequently use terms idiosyncratically,
the court looks to” sources including “the words
of the claims themselves, the remainder of the specification,
the prosecution history, and extrinsic evidence concerning relevant
scientific principles, the meaning of
technical terms, and the state of the art.” Id. at 1314
(quoting Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration
Sys., Inc., 381 F.3d 1111, 1116 (Fed. Cir. 2004))


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