CAFC Affirms PTAB Finding that Certain Uniloc Claims are Invalid, But Says Apple Failed to Prove Other Claims Unpatentable
On May 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB/ Board) in an inter partes review (IPR), holding the PTAB properly construed the claim language.
In April 2018, Apple Inc. filed a petition for IPR, alleging that all 25 claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,539,552 (“the ‘552 patent”) owned by Uniloc 2017 LLC were unpatentable. Apple Inc. v. Uniloc 2017 LLC, No. IPR2018-00884, Petition at 1 (P.T.A.B.). During the IPR, the PTAB held claims 1-17 and 23-25 of the ‘552 invalid for obviousness in view of U.S. Patent No. 6,324,279 (“Kalmanek”). Uniloc then appealed the decision. On appeal, Uniloc argued that the Board’s decision to invalidate the claims of the ‘552 patent resulted from an erroneous construction of a claim term. In its cross-appeal, Apple argued that the PTAB erred in holding that Apple failed to show the remaining claims of the ‘552 patent, claims 18-22, would have been obvious in view of Kalmanek. The CAFC upheld the PTAB on all issues.