Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Rovi prevails over Comcast

The outcome was reversal:

Rovi appeals from an inter partes review final written decision. See Comcast Cable Commc’ns, LLC v. Rovi Guides, Inc., No. IPR2019-00231, 2020 WL 2305288, (P.T.A.B. May 8, 2020) (Board Decision). In that decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board held that all claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,369,741 would have been obvious over Sie1 alone or in combination with other references. For the following reasons, we reverse.

Of the prior art [Sie]

That step occurs, if at all, before the system determines whether subscription playback is authorized for a user (step 744), whether to provide a user with promotional access (step 748), and whether to provide a user with free access (step 752). Put simply, the notification service precedes any determination of availability to a specific user. But the claim language requires the indication (i.e., the notification) to be based on a determination of availability to a specific user. Thus, no reasonable finder of fact could find Sie teaches the available-to-a-user limitation. And the Board erred in holding claim 1 would have been obvious based on a finding to the contrary.


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