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Finnegan client iFly Holdings LLC (iFly) served Indoor Skydiving Germany GMBH (ISG) with a complaint in the Eastern District of Texas, alleging infringement of its patent directed to vertical wind tunnels used for simulated skydiving. ISG then petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to institute an inter partes review (IPR) of iFly’s patent claims as anticipated and obvious in view of several references. Finnegan secured a total non-institution win for iFly through arguments raised in its patent owner’s preliminary response, including that ISG failed to demonstrate the references it cited against iFly’s patent were prior art printed publications, that other prior art did not teach or suggest claim features relating to the staging area of the vertical wind tunnel, and that ISG did not provide adequate reasoning to support its obviousness grounds. The PTAB denied institution on all grounds, concluding that the petition failed to show a reasonable likelihood of success that any challenged claim was unpatentable.

Finnegan client Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (HDL) served Boston Health Diagnostics Corporation with a complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging infringement of its patent directed to methods of predicting the risk of developing diabetes based on a model HDL developed using unique biomarker combinations. Boston Heart immediately petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to institute an inter partes review (IPR) challenging HDL’s asserted claims as anticipated and obvious in view of several prior art references. Finnegan secured a non-institution decision for HDL through arguments raised in its patent owner’s preliminary response that Boston Heart failed to demonstrate the prior art taught the diagnostic model using the claimed biomarker panels. The PTAB denied institution on all grounds, concluding that the petition failed to adequately explain how the cited references disclose the model as claimed.

On behalf of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co., we provoked an interference in the PTO between 3M’s patent application and a patent issued to Adhesives Research, Inc. The subject matter was a type of transdermal drug delivery system that uses an adhesive composition, and both parties introduced evidence of actual reduction to practice. We were successful in obtaining an award of priority against the patentee in the PTO and thereafter prevailed in a Section 146 action for review of the PTO decision brought by the losing patentee in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Finnegan defended Korea-based client SK Innovation (SKI) in a patent infringement suit against plaintiff Celgard LLC in the Western District of North Carolina, where Celgard is located. After extensive jurisdictional discovery, the court granted SKI’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and denied Celgard’s motion for preliminary injunction. Finnegan also obtained relief from the court for SKI after it was discovered that Celgard sent SKI confidential information to Celgard’s Korean counsel in unrelated Korean proceedings between the parties. The relief included prohibition of further transmission of SKI confidential information to Celgard’s Korean counsel and a bar against each of Celgard’s Korean attorneys who viewed SKI confidential information from further work on the Korean proceedings. Celgard appealed the district court’s dismissal of the case to the Federal Circuit. Finnegan represented SKI in the appeal as well. After full briefing and an oral argument, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the case, securing SKI’s victory on the issue of personal jurisdiction.

A jury in the Southern District of New York found five defendants liable for infringing Finnegan clients Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. and U.S. Philips’ valid patent related to the basic structure for optical storage media devices, or CD-Discs.  Each of the defendants had signed a contract with Philips to license the pool of patents covering CD-Disc technology.  Philips filed a breach of contract and patent infringement suit against the defendants when they stopped paying royalties while continuing to manufacture discs.  The jury victory followed Philips’ successful motions for summary judgment relating to various breach of contract and patent issues.  A damages trial will follow.

The Central District of California entered judgment invalidating all claims that Lochner Technologies—a non-practicing entity—had asserted against Finnegan client Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc.  On summary judgment and before the parties engaged in costly discovery, the judge found the claims invalid for lacking a sufficient written description and for failing to claim what the inventors regarded as their invention.  The court previously issued a favorable claim construction ruling that eliminated most accused products from the case.  The invalidity ruling disposed of the remaining issues.  Initially, Lochner had asserted its patent against twenty-two defendants.  Most settled, but Toshiba and Vizio, Inc. fought until the invalidity ruling brought the district court case to a close.

The Superior Court of California, Santa Clara, granted summary judgment in favor of Finnegan client RichWave Technology Corporation in a trade-secret misappropriation case involving wireless communication technology. The court’s judgment resolved all of plaintiff Epic Communication’s claims for trade-secret misappropriation, fraud and misrepresentation, conspiracy, and unfair competition. Finnegan took over the representation of the two remaining defendants after the case had been pending for four years. In reviewing the record, we formulated an argument not asserted by the previous counsel and established that the plaintiff’s agreement with a third party provides a complete release for our clients. Within two months after taking over the case, Finnegan filed a motion for summary judgment based on the agreement, and three months after that, the court granted summary judgment that the agreement released both defendants.

Following a two-week trial, a jury in the Northern District of California returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Finnegan clients ABBYY USA Software House, Inc. (of Milpitas, California), ABBYY Software, Ltd. (of Nicosia, Cyprus), ABBYY Production LLC (of Moscow, Russia), and Lexmark International, Inc. (of Lexington, Kentucky). Nuance Communications, Inc., had accused the ABBYY companies of infringing two patents directed to optical character recognition (OCR) software and a third patent directed to distributed document processing over a computer network. Nuance also sued Lexmark, a former Nuance customer, after it stopped using Nuance products and began using ABBYY’s OCR software. In addition, Nuance alleged that ABBYY infringed its trade dress for software packaging used for retail and internet sales. Prior to trial, Nuance sought more than $260 million in damages from the defendants. Nuance also alleged willful infringement and sought treble damages and attorneys’ fees from the defendants. The jury rejected Nuance’s infringement allegations in their entirety, returning a verdict of no infringement for all three Nuance patents and that Nuance’s alleged trade dress was not protectable. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment.

Finnegan client Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS) successfully challenged two check-imaging patents owned by DataTreasury.  These infamous “Ballard” patents were called out by name as troublesome business method patents by Congress when it wrote the covered business method (CBM) patent statute.  The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), in its Final Written Decision, said the two patents—directed to transferring information from one location to another where the transferred information is unreadable without a secret decoder key—cover abstract ideas that, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision on patentability in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l, are too abstract to be patentable. The PTAB also held that many of the claims lacked sufficient written description for encrypting subsystem identification information and thus fail to meet the rigors of 35 U.S.C. § 112. Finnegan represented FIS in the CBM challenges, and also in mandamus petitions to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit resulting in a successful stay of the underlying litigation in the Eastern District of Texas.

Finnegan helped InterDigital secure a settlement with Samsung, the terms of which included InterDigital receiving $400 million for a license for 3G cellular telephone technologies.  The settlement was reached on the eve of an Initial Determination by the chief administrative law judge, following Finnegan's representation of InterDigital in a six-day trial at the International Trade Commission (ITC).
 


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