In Nuance Communications, Inc. v. Abbyy USA Software House, Inc., Appeal Nos. 2014-1629, -1630, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment of non-infringement of eight patents, even though only three patents had been tried to the jury.

Nuance sued Abbyy for infringing eight patents.  Nuance opposed multiple trials.  The district court adopted Nuance’s proposal to limit its case to four patents and fifteen claims. Before trial, Nuance further narrowed its case to three patents.  The jury found non-infringement and the court entered final judgment.  

Nuance argued that the district court violated its due process rights by entering final judgment on all eight asserted patents, including patents that had not been tried before the jury.  The Federal Circuit recognized that it would have been preferable for the district court to explain the consequences of Nuances’s decision to narrow its case.  Still, the Federal Circuit determined that Nuance had made a tactical litigation decision to narrow its case and had failed to protect its due process rights regarding the unselected patents.

Nuance also argued for a new trial because the district court had failed to resolve a claim construction dispute before trial.  But the district court adopted Nuance’s proposed construction for a plain and ordinary meaning.  When the parties disagreed as to the plain and ordinary meaning, the district court instructed the jury on the dictionary definition to explain the plain and ordinary meaning.  The Federal Circuit held there was no O2 Micro violation where the district court adopted Nuance’s proposed construction, which Nuance itself later became dissatisfied with.