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Monday, March 20, 2017

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REVERSED
Tech Center 1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
1735 Ex Parte Gross et al 13399131 - (D) McGEE 102/103 WOLF GREENFIELD & SACKS, P.C. SAAD, ERIN BARRY

Tech Center 2100 Computer Architecture and Software
2128 Ex Parte Xie et al 13649079 - (D) WHITEHEAD JR. 103 HAMILTON DESANCTIS & CHA LLP KU, SHIUH-HUEI P

2161 Ex Parte Taylor 11948732 - (D) SHIANG 103 LOWENSTEIN SANDLER LLP DAYE, CHELCIE L

Tech Center 2400 Networking, Multiplexing, Cable, and Security
2483 Ex Parte Narroschke et al 12160418 - (D) BAUMEISTER 102/103 SEED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW GROUP LLP MAHMUD, FARHAN

Tech Center 2600 Communications
2689 Ex Parte FINET 13433761 - (D) SILVERMAN 103 HONEYWELL/WOOD PHILLIPS ALAM, MIRZA F

Tech Center 3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
3654 Ex Parte Suchecki 12902917 - (D) WORTH 112(2)/103 MCCOY RUSSELL LLP TRUONG, MINH D

Tech Center 3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Design
3721 Ex Parte Bernardi 13757823 - (D) HORNER 103 Maginot, Moore & Beck LLP TECCO, ANDREW M

3766 Ex Parte Chapman et al 13791491 - (D) MURPHY 102/103 Lane Powell PC MALAMUD, DEBORAH LESLIE

3775 Ex Parte FRIGG 13221577 - (D) HORNER 103 Fay Kaplun & Marcin, LLP KU, SI MING

AFFIRMED-IN-PART
Tech Center 3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Design
3769 Ex Parte Addison et al 13243619 - (D) HORNER 102 102 Covidien LP JIAN, SHIRLEY XUEYING

AFFIRMED
Tech Center 1600 Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry
1633 Ex Parte Gage 11654553 - (D) SCHNEIDER 112(2) 103 MENDELSOHN DUNLEAVY, P.C. HIRIYANNA, KELAGINAMANE T

1674 Ex Parte Roesch et al 13388583 - (D) GRIMES 103 LICATA & TYRRELL P.C. ZARA, JANE J

Tech Center 1700 Chemical & Materials Engineering
1735 Ex Parte Bochiechio et al 12940080 - (D) INGLESE 103 CARLSON, GASKEY & OLDS/PRATT & WHITNEY YUEN, JACKY

Tech Center 2400 Networking, Multiplexing, Cable, and Security
2473 Ex Parte RIBEIRO et al 13691078 - (D) SMITH 102 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP Nokia Technologies Oy CHOWDHURY, HARUN UR R

Tech Center 2600 Communications
2657 Ex Parte LEE et al 12831607 - (D) STRAUSS 112(6) 103 GREER, BURNS & CRAIN, LTD SPOONER, LAMONT M

Claim 1 recites three “unit[s]”, the name of each unit (e.g., “a vernacular pronunciation extracting unit”) corresponding to a function to be performed by the “unit” (e.g., “to extract a vernacular pronunciation in response to receipt of a Hanja character string”). These limitations do not include the word “means,” thus, a rebuttable presumption exists these limitations are not means-plus-function limitations. Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, 792 F.3d 1339, 1348 (Fed. Cir. 2015). This presumption can be overcome if the limitation “fails to recite sufficiently definite structure or else recites function without reciting sufficient structure for performing that function.” Id. at 1349 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Contrary to Appellants argument (Br. 6), the presumption is not a “strong” one.1 As used herein, the term “means for” is replaced by the “nonce  word”2 “unit” thereby connoting one or more generic “black boxes” for performing all of the intended functions recited in claim 1. 

1 Since the filing of Appellants’ Brief, the Federal Circuit has overruled the strong presumption that a limitation lacking the word “means” is not subject to § 112,  6. Williamson, 792 F.3d at 1349. 

2 Although termed a “nonce word”, we recognize this characterization is somewhat inaccurate, the common meaning being “a word invented and used for a particular occasion.” Morris, W., The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 892. Houghton Mifflin Company (1981). However, the word “unit” does have a generally accepted meaning including “an entire apparatus or the equipment that performs a specific function.” Id. at 1400. Thus, while not a made-up word, on the present facts the word “unit” at most restricts the preceding functional language to an apparatus but not to a particular structure (cf. “a window-mounted air conditioning unit”). Instead, the word “unit” is merely a transition between a shortened description of a function to be performed (e.g., vernacular pronunciation extracting) and the corresponding full description of that function (e.g., apparatus “to extract a vernacular pronunciation in response to receipt of a Hanja character string”). Thus, as used in claim 1, the term “unit” is a “non-structural generic placeholder” that is tantamount to the term “means” because it fails to connote sufficiently definite structure (i.e., a “nonce word”). Cf. Williamson 792 F.3d at 1350.

Williamson v. Citrix Online, 792 F.3d 1339, 115 USPQ2d 1105 (Fed. Cir. 2015) 2144.05 2181

Tech Center 3700 Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing, and Products & Design
3745 Ex Parte Reinhardt et al 13970483 - (D) STEPINA 103 Bachman & LaPointe, P.C. PRAGER, JESSE M

REHEARING

DENIED
Tech Center 2800 Semiconductors, Electrical and Optical Systems and Components
2894 Ex Parte Swartz 12932058 - (D) MEDLOCK 101/112(1) Mitchell R. Swartz MONDT, JOHANNES P

Tech Center 3600 Transportation, Construction, Electronic Commerce, Agriculture, National Security, and License & Review
3646 Ex Parte Swartz 09748691 - (D) MEDLOCK 101/112(1)/102/103 Mitchell R. Swartz, ScD, MD, EE KEITH, JACK W

1 comment :

Robert F. Crocker said...

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