Top Apple Inc. Cases at the Federal Circuit

By Peter Clarke, JD on September 06, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Apple is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. According to Forbes, it's also one of the most valuable. So it's no surprise that the company faces more than its fair share of litigation.

The legal battles between Apple and Samsung get the most headlines. We've covered that drama closely in our Federal Circuit blog and beyond. But not all litigation involving Apple involves Samsung. So here's a look at some of the recent Apple lawsuits at the Federal Circuit that you might have overlooked.

1. Personal Web Techs., LLC v. Apple, Inc.

In an appeal of inter partes review of certain claims of a patent that describes and claims methods (or devices for carrying out methods) of locating data and controlling access to data by giving a data file a substantially unique name that depends on the file's content -- a so-called 'True Name' -- the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's decision is: 1) affirmed as to the Board's claim construction; but 2) vacated as to the obviousness determination because the Board did not adequately support its findings that the prior art disclosed all elements of the challenged claims and that a relevant skilled artisan would have had a motivation to combine the prior-art references to produce the claimed inventions with a reasonable expectation of success.

2. Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. Apple, Inc.

In an infringement action involving a patent claim directed to means for sending packet data from a mobile station to a network using a selected channel, the district court's judgment that defendant did not infringe any of the asserted claims is affirmed where the district court correctly denied plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law and properly upheld the jury's verdict of noninfringement.

3. Aylus Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc.

In an infringement action involving a patent that provides systems and methods for implementing digital home networks having a control point located on a wide area network, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Apple, finding no infringement, is affirmed where: 1) statements made by a patent owner during an IPR proceeding, whether before or after an institution decision, can be relied upon to support a finding of prosecution disclaimer; and 2) plaintiff's statements during an IPR proceeding were a clear and unmistakable disavowal of claim scope.

4. Contentguard Holdings Inc. v. Apple Inc.

In a patent infringement case of digital rights management technology, Apple is found not to have infringed, but fails to prove the patents are invalid.

5. Apple Inc. v. Ameranth, Inc.

In an action for Covered Business Method (CBM) review of patents related to computer systems with hardware and software, which specifications disclose a first menu that has categories and items, and software that can generate a second menu from that first menu by allowing categories and items to be selected, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's decisions are: 1) affirmed as to the finding that certain claims are unpatentable under section 101; and 2) reversed as to the Board's decisions confirming the patentability of certain claims under section 101, where such claims patent are actually all unpatentable under section 101.

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