Fresh From the Bench: Latest Federal Circuit Court Cases
CASE OF THE WEEK
Koninklijke Philips N.V. v. Google LLC, et al., Appeal No. 2019-1177 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 30, 2020)
In the Federal Circuit’s only precedential decision this week, the Court affirmed a PTAB finding that claims of a patent directed to downloading and streaming services were invalid as obvious. In doing so, the Court established precedent concerning the extent to which parties can rely on evidence of “general knowledge” in the art to fill claim limitations, and further reinforced that the PTAB may only institute review on grounds specifically pleaded in the Petition.
Streaming services previously had problems with delay because the entire file needed to get downloaded before it could play. In the alternative, two-way communications were required. The patent at issue purported to solve those problems by using multiple files that could play sequentially, and recited a system to effectuate that.
Google filed a petition for inter partes review based on two prior art references, SMIL 1.0 and Hua. Hua concerned “pipelining,” and was relied on to provide “general knowledge” in the art at the time. In its petition, Google advanced theories of anticipation by SMIL and obviousness over SMIL by itself—the latter theory was that the person of ordinary skill in the art would have thought to add “pipelining” to SMIL.