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Apple Patent Victories Upheld by Tribunal After Arthrex Remand

Sept. 9, 2022, 8:33 PM

Two of Apple Inc.'s patent challenge wins against Personalized Media Communications were confirmed by an administrative tribunal after the cases were sent back by the Federal Circuit.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board again found some claims of PMC’s US Patent No. 8,559,635 unpatentable as obvious, according to a final written decision. The cases were some of at least 100 PTAB decisions that were sent back to the board for review after the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s ruling in Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc.

The appeals court had vacated and remanded the tribunal’s decisions after finding the PTAB’s administrative patent judges had too much power not to be classified as officers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The US Patent and Trademark Office, which includes the PTAB, established a system of director review of board decisions in response to the high court’s ruling.

PMC has filed dozens of patent infringement lawsuits against companies including Google LLC and Netflix Inc.

PMC in July sought to convince the Federal Circuit to reinstate a $308.5 million verdict it won against Apple. The award was thrown out by district judge who found PMC intentionally delayed its patent application to milk Apple for more money. The Federal Circuit case is currently pending and involves a different patent from the PTAB decision.

Administrative patent judges Karl D. Easthom, Kevin F. Turner, and Georgianna W. Braden served on the panel.

Goodwin Procter LLP represents PMC. Kirkland & Ellis LLP represents Apple.

The cases were:

To contact the reporter on this story: Samantha Handler in Washington at shandler@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Adam M. Taylor at ataylor@bloombergindustry.com; Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com