Digest of CSR, PLC v. Skullcandy, Inc., Nos. 2014-1108, -1109, -1138 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 16, 2014) (non-precedential). On appeal from the PTAB. Before Lourie, Schall, and Dyk.
Procedural Posture: Challenger appealed PTAB’s decisions affirming the examiner’s decision not to reject certain patent claims as anticipated, obvious, or lacking adequate written description in two inter partes reexaminations. Patent owner cross-appealed the Board’s decision reversing the examiner’s decision not to reject other claims as anticipated or obvious. CAFC affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.
- Claim Construction: Because the Board erred by failing to construe “threshold value,” the Board’s opinion did not contain sufficient reasoning to permit appellate scrutiny, and was vacated and remanded as to those claims.
- Anticipation: Substantial evidence supports the Board’s finding of no anticipation. The reference discloses a connector physically connected to the relevant coupling and not “physically detached from the coupling device,” as required by the claim. Substantial evidence also supported the Board’s findings that other claims were invalid as anticipated or obvious, including substantial evidence that two figures of one reference may be combined in an anticipation rejection. In so finding the Board did not, as the cross-appellee argues, place the burden on the applicant to rebut invalidity, but rather made all of the necessary findings to support its conclusion that two related figures in the same reference when viewed in context of the entire reference anticipated the claims. Similarly there was substantial evidence for the Board’s findings that the reference disclosed a “portable apparatus” and a “coupling device independent from the audio and two-way communication devices.”
- Written Description: The CAFC affirmed the Board’s finding that “the specification discloses the disputed claim features of a coupling device communicating wirelessly with a portable audio device and a portable two-way communication device.”