Washington DC
28 September 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Federal Circuit affirms PTAB decision in CBM review

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) covered business method (CBM) review decision that found Intertainer’s patent for interactive video content to be invalid.

In the decision, handed down on 26 September, the Federal Circuit disagreed with Hulu’s assertions that Intertainer had waived its ability to challenge the PTAB when it argued that prior art did not disclose the “link program” in its covered business method patent, for a “system and method for interactive video content programming.”

But the court said that: “Intertainer’s position runs afoul of prosecution history because, in order to overcome written description and anticipation rejections, it relied on interpretations of these limitations that only ‘provid[ed]’ and ‘associat[ed]’ interface links, not an entire program.”

“The parties’ dispute here rests not with what a link program does, but what a link program is; specifically whether the ‘interrupt[ing]’ and ‘access[ing]’ functions require a single ‘link program.’”

“On this narrower question, we agree with Hulu that the claims, given their broadest reasonable interpretation in light of the specification and prosecution history, impose no such requirement.”

The court found that Intertainer did not dispute the PTAB’s constructions that prior art anticipated its patent and, accordingly, the court ruled to affirm PTAB’s decision.

CBM review was introduced with the America Invents Act in 2011. Since 2012 and as of 31 July 2016, there have been 134 completed CBM trials, according to official statistics from the US Patent and Trademark Office

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