In MFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES, INC. v. RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD., Appeal Nos. 2012-1679, 2013-1123, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s JMOL in light of a post-trial claim construction.
Mformation sued RIM for patent infringement. After the jury returned an infringement verdict of $147.2 million in favor of Mformation, the district court issued an order raising a claim construction issue and requesting further briefing. In light of the court’s explanation of the claim term at issue, Blackberry renewed its JMOL of non-infringement, which was granted. Mformation appealed, arguing that (1) the district court improperly introduced a post-verdict claim construction issue, (2) the construction was incorrect for requiring an order-of-steps in a method claim, and (3) the JMOL was improper even when relying on that claim construction.
The Federal Circuit affirmed. The Federal Circuit determined that the post-verdict discussion of claim language was an allowable elaboration or clarification of what was inherent in the original construction, and thus was not done in error. Next, the Federal Circuit determined that order-of-steps was required based on the claim language and earlier construction, and that logic dictates a particular order-of-steps. Finally, the Federal Circuit affirmed that JMOL of non-infringement was appropriate because substantial evidence did not support a jury verdict under the elaborated or clarified claim construction.