This morning the Federal Circuit released three precedential opinions in patent cases and one nonprecedential opinion in a trademark case. In the first precedential opinion, the court affirmed invalidity decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in inter partes review proceedings. In the second precedential opinion, the court affirmed-in-part, reversed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded the latest appeals involving Apple and Wi-LAN. In the third precedential opinion, the court affirmed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded an appeal in a case pitting the California Institute of Technology against Broadcom Ltd. Notably, Judge Dyk concurred-in-part and dissented-in-part from the majority’s holding. Finally, in the court’s nonprecedential opinion it affirmed the cancelation of a trademark registration. Notably, Judge Cunningham authored the nonprecedential opinion, her first for the court. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

Quanergy Systems, Inc. v. Velodyne Lidar USA, Inc. (Precedential)

This appeal is about a laser-based system for measuring distances. While useful for a number of purposes, the system is best known for helping autonomous cars sense their surroundings. U.S. Patent No. 7,969,558 (“the ’558 patent”) claims such a system, and appellee Velodyne Lidar USA, Inc. markets products incorporating such systems. Appellant Quanergy Systems, Inc. also markets products employing laser systems. Unsurprisingly, Quanergy challenged the validity of multiple claims in the ’558 patent in two inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”).

Quanergy now appeals the two final written decisions of the Board in those proceedings. In its decisions, the Board held that claims 1–4, 8, 9, 16–19, and 23–25 of the ’558 patent are not unpatentable as obvious. Quanergy Sys., Inc. v. Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (Quanergy I), No. IPR2018-00255, 2019 WL 2237114 (P.T.A.B. May 23, 2019); Quanergy Sys., Inc. v. Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (Quanergy II), No. IPR2018-00256, 2019 WL 2237137 (P.T.A.B. May 23, 2019). We affirm both decisions.

Apple Inc. v. Wi-LAN Inc.(Precedential)

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California entered a final judgment (1) that Apple infringed claims 9, 26, and 27 of U.S. Patent No. 8,457,145 and claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 8,537,757; (2) that those claims had not been proven invalid; and (3) that awarded Wi-LAN $85.23 million in damages. Apple appeals, and Wi-LAN cross-appeals. For the following reasons, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, vacate-in-part, and remand.

California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Ltd. (Precedential)

Broadcom Limited, Broadcom Corporation, and Avago Technologies Ltd. (collectively “Broadcom”) and Apple Inc. (“Apple”) appeal from the adverse decision of the District Court for the Central District of California in an infringement suit filed by the California Institute of Technology (“Caltech”) for infringement of its U.S. Patents No. 7,116,710 (“the ’710 patent”), No. 7,421,032 (“the ’032 patent”), and No. 7,916,781 (“the ’781 patent”).

Because the district court did not err in its construction of the claim limitation “repeat” and because substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdict of infringement of the asserted claims of the ’710 and ’032 patents, we affirm the district court’s denial of JMOL on infringement thereof. We also affirm the district court’s conclusion that claim 13 of the ’781 patent is patent-eligible but vacate the jury’s verdict of infringement thereof because of the district court’s failure to instruct the jury on the construction of the claim term “variable number of subsets.” We thus remand for a new trial on infringement of claim 13 of the ’781 patent. We further affirm the district court’s summary judgment findings of no invalidity based on IPR estoppel and its determination of no inequitable conduct. We affirm the district court’s decision with respect to its jury instructions on extraterritoriality. But because Caltech’s two-tier damages theory cannot be supported on this record, we vacate the jury’s damages award and remand for a new trial on damages.

DYK, Circuit Judge, concurring-in-part and dissenting-in-part.

While I join Discussion sections II.B.1, III, and IV of the majority opinion, I respectfully disagree with the majority’s holding that substantial evidence supports the jury’s verdict of infringement of the asserted claims of the ’710 and ’032 patents and would reverse the district court’s denial of JMOL of no literal infringement. I would similarly reverse the denial of JMOL rather than remand for a new trial with respect to the infringement of the ’781 patent.

Hage-Boutros v. Ethika, Inc.(Nonprecedential)

Alexander Hage-Boutros appeals from the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) canceling his trademark registration. Ethika, Inc. v. Alexander Hage-Boutros d/b/a Ethik Clothing Co., Cancellation No. 92063682, 2020 WL 6306141, at *10 (T.T.A.B. Oct. 26, 2020). Because we discern no error in the Board’s finding a likelihood of confusion between Mr. Hage-Boutros’s mark and Ethika, Inc.’s (“Ethika”) marks, we affirm.