On Thursday, September 17, 2015, the Patent and Trial Appeal Board (PTAB) found that 19 claims of U.S. Patent Number 8,023,580 (the 580 Patent) are invalid because they are obvious. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and three affiliated Samsung entities (Samsung) instituted inter partes review of more than 20 claims of the’580 Patent on the grounds that the claims were invalid due to obviousness. The ’580 Patent relates to data communications and modems, and in particular, to a data communications system in which a plurality of modems uses different types of modulation in a network.

Previously, in March 2013, Rembrandt Wireless Technologies, LP (Rembrandt) sued Samsung in the Eastern District of Texas, alleging infringement of the ’580 Patent and another patent, claiming that Samsung’s Galaxy S mobile phones support technology with an “enhanced data rate” mode that was alleged to infringe the patents. In February 2015, the case went to trial, and the jury found that Samsung infringed both patents, awarding $15.7 million in damages.

The PTAB’s decision does not affect the verdict, however, as the decision does not address the validity of the two patent claims that Samsung was found to infringe. The PTAB expressly declined to review those two claims because it was not persuaded that there was a reasonable likelihood that Samsung would prevail on its challenge to the claims.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al. v. Rembrandt Wireless Technologies LP, Case No. IPR2014-00518, before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.