Facebook, Inc. v. Skky, LLC, Case CBM2016-00091 (Sept. 28, 2017) (Paper No. 12)

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Takeaway (1) (Precedential):

The Board treats disclaimed claims as if they never existed.  In deciding whether to institute review, the Board will not consider claims that the patent owner previously disclaimed (before the decision whether to institute review).

Takeaway (2): 

Where a patent includes some claims that would be eligible for CBM review and others that would not, a patent owner might avoid CBM review by disclaiming those claims eligible for CBM review before the Board decides whether to institute.

Summary

Facebook, Inc. and Instagram, LLC (“Petitioner”) filed a petition for covered business method (“CBM”) review of claims 1-11 of U.S. Patent No. 9,037,502 (the ‘502 patent). Patent Owner Skky, LLC, statutorily disclaimed claims 6 and 8-11 of the ’502 patent one day before filing its Preliminary Response to the Petition.

Petitioner argued that the Board should apply a “time-of-filing” rule to determine what claims are at issue in deciding whether to institute CBM review, such that the Board would decide whether to institute CBM review based on the claims as they existed at the time the petition was filed. For support, Petitioner pointed out that federal courts use a “time-of-filing” rule for determining federal court jurisdiction. Petitioner also argued that applying a “time-of-filing” rule would prevent a “postfiling salvage operation” by patent owners attempting to divest the Board of its CBM jurisdiction.

The Board disagreed, noting that “[t]he Federal Circuit has consistently held that claims disclaimed under § 253 should be treated as though they never existed.” The Board saw no basis for adopting an exception to the Federal Circuit’s holdings.

David Tseng

David Tseng

Dave represents clients in intellectual property litigation before various federal courts, including the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Eastern District of Texas, District of Delaware, and before the International Trade Commission. He has engaged in litigation on a variety of technologies, such as plastic molding techniques, internet lead generation, audio/video encoding circuits, flash memory devices, web-based gaming, nutritional supplement manufacturing processes, consumer mechanical devices, telecommunications standards (3G/UMTS) as well as mobile handsets and handset operations.

Clint Conner

Clint Conner

Clint’s practice focuses on intellectual property with an emphasis on patent litigation, inter partes reviews, and patent enforcement strategies. Although he has remained focused on U.S. intellectual property law throughout his career, he brings an international perspective, having spent nearly five years representing companies in U.S. patent litigation while living and working in Tokyo. Before attending law school, Clint was an engineer for three years with Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs (now Alcatel-Lucent).