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Nixed VLSI Patent Claim Challenged by Intel Revived on Appeal

Nov. 15, 2022, 5:45 PM

VLSI Technology LLC convinced the Federal Circuit to partly overturn an administrative tribunal’s decision that invalidated all of the patent claims challenged by Intel Corp. in one part of their ongoing multifront IP fight.

In a precedential decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wrote that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board must reconsider one claim that it knocked out in US Patent No. 7,247,552, which covers integrated circuit technology. The tribunal erred in how it construed the phrase “used for electrical interconnection,” the three-judge panel said. It left in place the PTAB’s invalidation of three other claims.

The ‘552 patent was one of several VLSI asserted against Intel in the District of Delaware in 2018—a case that’s still ongoing. Intel successfully petitioned the PTAB to review the validity of claims in the ‘552 patent, resulting in a trio of February 2021 decisions invalidating the four challenged claims.

Judge William C. Bryson wrote that the board wasn’t obligated to acknowledge or use the district court’s claim construction in its analysis “because the parties’ positions before the Board made it clear that the Board needed to go beyond the district court’s claim construction in order to resolve the parties’ dispute.”

The Federal Circuit case is just one part of patent litigation between VLSI and Intel that’s playing out across the country and has already resulted in more than $2 billion in damages being awarded to VLSI. In the Western District of Texas, Judge Alan Albright is presiding over his court’s third trial over different patent infringement claims; closing arguments were Tuesday.

Judges Raymond T. Chen and Todd M. Hughes also sat on the panel.

Lowenstein & Weatherwax LLP represents VLSI. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP represents Intel.

The case is VLSI Technology LLC v. Intel Corp., Fed. Cir., Nos. 2021-1826, 2021-1827, 2021-1828, partly reversed and remanded 11/15/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kelcee Griffis in Washington at kgriffis@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