WASICA FINANCE v. CONTINENTAL AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS: Apr. 4, 2017. Before Prost, Schall, and Chen.

Takeaways:

  • Claim not anticipated because the reference’s broad disclosure of a genus didn’t disclose with sufficient particularity the species in the claim.

Procedural Posture:

At the PTAB, the Board found certain claims unpatentable as anticipated or obvious. The CAFC affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part.

Synopsis:

  • Anticipation: The CAFC affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part the Board’s anticipation findings. The ‘524 describes systems for monitoring tire pressure in cars. Wasica argued that certain claim limitations required a numerical representation of the tire’s pressure. And because the reference did not measure in numeric values, Wasica argued that it did not contain the limitations. The Board disagreed, holding that nothing in the claims limits the pressure measuring device to numeric values. Wasica did not dispute that the claims were unpatentable under the Board’s broad construction. The only issue was whether the Board erred in construing the claims to encompass non-numeric representations of pressure. Based on the claim language and specification, the CAFC affirmed the Board’s broad construction. The CAFC also affirmed the unpatentability of a claim in which the Board construed “emittance” to include wired transmissions.
  • Anticipation: The CAFC affirmed the Board’s holding that one claim was not anticipated by the reference. “It is well established that disclosure of a genus in the prior art is not necessarily a disclosure of every species that is a member of that genus.” The Board did not err in determining that the reference’s broad invocation of “any modulation scheme” (a genus) does not disclose with sufficient particularity the constant-frequency modulation scheme of the claim (the species).
  • Anticipation: The Board, however, erred in finding one claim not anticipated. The Board’s construction of “bit sequence” as “two or more bits” was too narrow in the context of the claim, which dictated that “bit sequence” be broad enough to include single-bit sequences.
  • Obviousness: The CAFC affirmed the Board’s obviousness findings because the obviousness arguments were not fully developed in the IPR petitions.