In Vivint Inc. v. Alarm.com Inc., No. 17-2218 (December 20, 2018), the Federal Circuit in a non-precedential opinion affirmed the Board’s invalidation of some of Vivant’s patent claims, affirmed the validity of others, and reversed and remanded the Board’s claim construction of “communication device identification code.” The three Vivant patents at issue in the inter partes review proceedings related to systems for remotely monitoring HVAC equipment and contacting individuals upon detection of problems in the equipment.
The Federal Circuit found that the Board improperly construed “communication device identification codes” to mean something “capable of uniquely identifying communication devices,” excluding phone numbers or email addresses. The Court concluded that the Board’s interpretation could not be correct because the patents explain that a mobile identification number refers to a device in the same way that a phone number refers to a cellular phone (i.e., a communication device). Thus, the Federal Circuit concluded that under the broadest reasonable interpretation, “communication device identification codes” could not exclude phone numbers or email addresses.