In an inter partes review (IPR) decided on November 7, 2014, a PTAB panel issued a final written decision holding all challenged claims of a computerized gaming patent invalid as anticipated or obvious. The challenged claims related to a method of playing a game of skill having a qualifying round (between a player and a host computer) and a playoff round (between qualifying players). The sole prior art reference at issue in the IPR was the “Walker” reference, a published application that “describes a method and system for a distributed electronic tournament system in which remotely located players participate in a tournament through input/output devices connected to a central controller that manages the tournament.”

In its final written decision, the board explained that, “[c]onsistent with the statute and legislative history of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act . . . the board interprets claims using the broadest reasonable construction” (internal quotation marks omitted). The board then confirmed its interpretation of the terms it had construed in its institution decision and construed two additional claim terms. Turning to the merits of the validity question, the board agreed with petitioner that, under the broadest reasonable construction of the claim terms, the Walker reference described all limitations in the challenged claims. The board rejected patent owner’s arguments to the contrary because those arguments were “based on a narrow claim interpretation [the board had] not adopted.” Accordingly, the board held that petitioner had shown by a preponderance of the evidence that all challenged claims are unpatentable.

Game Show Network, LLC v. Stephenson, IPR2013-00289 (PTAB Nov. 7, 2014) [Medley (opinion), Turner, Wood].