The following arguments will be available to the public live. Access information will be available by 9 AM ET each day of argument at: https://cafc.uscourts.gov/home/oral-argument/listen-to-oral-arguments/.
Monday, August 1, 2022
Arendi S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics Inc., No. 21-1967, Courtroom 201
Arendi appeals from a District of Delaware decision granting LG’s motion to dismiss. In 2012, Arendi sued LG for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,917,843 (“the ’843 patent”) (“Arendi I”). In Arendi I, after initially identifying 192 products that purportedly infringe the ’843 patent, Arendi only provided infringement claim charts for one product, LG’s Rebel 4 mobile phone, claiming that it was representative of all of the accused products. LG disagreed that the Rebel-4 product was representative, but the parties ultimately identified 8 devices that they agreed were representative of all of the accused products. Arendi did not, however, provide claim charts for the additional representative devices. When Arendi’s expert proffered an infringement opinion on those other representative devices (“the Non-Rebel 4 Products”) LG filed a motion to strike, which the district court granted.
In response, Arendi filed a second lawsuit accusing LG of infringement of the ’843 patent based on the Non-Rebel 4 Products (“Arendi II”). The district court granted LG’s motion to dismiss Arendi’s complaint on the grounds that it violated the claim-splitting doctrine. Specifically, the Court opined that it understood that Arendi had dropped its infringement allegations against the Non-Rebel 4 products in Arendi I, and therefore was precluded by the claim-splitting doctrine from raising the same allegations in Arendi II.
Arendi contends that the claim-splitting doctrine only applies when the products are “essentially the same.” Relying on the Federal Circuit’s holding in Acumed LLC v. Stryker Corp., Arendi argues that a product is “essentially the same” only if the difference are “unrelated to the limitations in the claim of the patent.” Arendi notes that LG asserted in Arendi I that the Non-Rebel 4 Products are materially different from the Rebel 4 product, which were the only products litigated in Arendi I. Arendi contends that the district court thus misapplied the claim-splitting doctrine, and its decision granting LG’s motion to dismiss should be reversed.
LG contends that the claim-splitting doctrine is applicable because Arendi II involves the exact same patent and the exact same products that Arendi accused in Arendi I. LG argues that Arendi mischaracterizes Arendi I. Specifically, LG points out that the district court struck the portions of Arendi’s expert report regarding the Non-Rebel 4 Products due to Arendi’s failure to provide the requisite claim charts for those products. LG further notes that neither LG nor the district court ever stated that the Non-Rebel 4 Products were not part of Arendi I. Thus, Arendi contends that the district court properly dismissed Arendi’s complaint.
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Provisur Technologies, Inc. v. Weber, Inc., No. 21-1942, Courtroom 201
Weber, Inc. (“Weber”) filed a petition for inter partes alleging that all of the claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,997,089 (“the ’089 patent”) were invalid as obvious. In its final written decision, the Board held that all but two claims were unpatentable.
On appeal, Provisur argues that the Board abused its discretion by denying its motion to exclude evidence that Weber improperly withheld until its Reply. Provisur argues that Weber had possession of the essential new evidence prior to drafting its petition and that withholding this evidence until its reply brief was unfairly prejudicial. Provisur further argues that the Board’s denial of Provisur’s motion was not harmless error because the Board heavily relied on the new evidence in its final written decision.
Weber argues that the Board did not abuse its discretion by denying Provisur’s motion and considering Weber’s evidence, which the Board found to be “highly probative.” Weber disputes Provisur’s charge that it provided “new” evidence. Instead, Weber contends that the evidence was proffered to rebut Provisur’s “unexpected” argument in the Patent Owner Response and that the Board has broad discretion to admit such evidence. Further, according to Weber, Provisur was not prejudiced by the “late” evidence because Provisur had the opportunity to “extensively” depose Weber’s expert and addressed the evidence in its sur-reply, motion to exclude, and during oral argument.
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Sanderling Management Ltd. v. Snap Inc., No. 21-2173, Courtroom 201
Sanderling sued Snap, alleging that certain features of Snap’s Snapchat application infringed three of Sanderling’s patents. At the pleading stage, the district court granted Snap’s motion to dismiss with prejudice, on the grounds that each of the asserted claims were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The district court held that the claims were directed to the abstract idea of “providing information based on meeting a condition” and failed to recite an inventive concept that amounted to “significantly more” than the abstract idea.
On appeal, Sanderling argues that the district court erred at all steps of its § 101 analysis and ultimately hindered Sanderling’s access to a fair process by dismissing the case with prejudice at the pleadings stage. Sanderling first contends that the district court failed at step one by vastly oversimplifying the invention recited by the claims. Likening its invention to the one at issue in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games Am. Inc., 837 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2016), Sanderling contends that the claimed invention improves computer functionality by “dynamically” and “almost instantly” sending processing functions to mobile devices “with no requirement for a prior image to be taken or generated by the user or the mobile device.” Sanderling next argues that the district court erred at step two by failing to accept the allegations in the Complaint as true and trivializing the PTO’s findings.
Snap argues that each of Sanderling’s claims are without merit. First, Snap disagrees with Sanderling’s view that the district court oversimplified its claims. Arguing instead that the district court made its judgment based on the claims’ plain language, while Sanderling’s argument relies on language that does not appear anywhere in the claims. Second, Snap disagrees with Sanderling’s argument that the district court erred at step two, contending that the district court had sufficient evidence to decide this step as a matter of law. Specifically, Snap argues that the claimed invention merely uses generic computer components to implement an abstract idea and the purported improvements over the prior art are not actually recited by the claim.
Philanthropist.com, Inc. v. General Conference Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists, No. 21-2208, Courtroom 201
Philanthropist.com is the owner of the Adventist.com domain name. In a cease-and-desist letter, the General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists (“General Conference”) alleged that Philanthropist.com’s use of the Adventist.com domain name infringed on its ADVENTIST trademark. In the letter, the General Conference threatened to file suit against Philanthropist.com if it did not transfer the domain name to the General Conference, a threat it followed through on when Philanthropist.com refused transfer its rights. In response, Philanthropist.com petitioned to cancel the trademark. The Board granted the General Conference’s motion to dismiss the petition for failure to establish entitlement to a statutory cause of action.
On appeal, Philanthropist.com argues that the plain text of the Lanham Act, which requires only a belief in damage, entitles Philanthropist.com to a statutory cause of action to petition to cancel the General Conference’s ADVENTIST mark. Specifically, Philanthropist argues that it owns the Adventist.com domain name and that the General Conference threatened and then followed through on its threat to sue Philanthropist.com for the use of its domain name. Thus, Philanthropist.com contends that there is a direct connection between the harm to its interests and the generic trademark that it is seeking to cancel.
In response, the General Conference argues that Philanthropist.com does not have standing to bring the appeal and that, in any event, it has failed to establish that the Board erred in concluding that Philanthropist.com did not show an entitled to a statutory cause of action. First, the General Conference contends that Philanthropist.com lacks Article III standing because it cannot demonstrate that is has suffered a concrete, particularized injury that is both actual and imminent. Second, the General Conference contends that the Board properly concluded that Philanthropist.com failed to establish a legitimate commercial interest in the “zone of interest” or a reasonable belief of damages caused by the registration of the General’s Conference’s ADVENTIST mark.