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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
December 16, 2022, Decided
Moore, Chief Judge.
Avery Dennison Corporation appeals the United States District Court for the District of Oregon's grant of summary judgment that claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 9,798,967 is directed to eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C § 101 and is valid under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 103. Avery Dennison also appeals the district court's order denying its motion for a new trial and imposing sanctions for its discovery misconduct. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm in part, reverse in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.
The '967 patent relates, in part, to methods and systems for commissioning radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponders. '967 patent at 3:27-32. RFID transponders, also known as RFID tags, are used, like barcodes, to identify and track objects by encoding data electronically in a compact label. Id. at 1:32-34. But unlike traditional barcodes, RFID tags need not include external, machine-or human-readable labels and can communicate the data they encode over a distance using radio-frequency transmission. Id. at 1:34-53, 6:28-59.
To facilitate identifying and tracking an object in the stream of commerce, RFID tags are encoded with information associated with the object through a process known as "commissioning." Id. at 1:40-53. The encoded data may include various categories of information, "for example, data representing an object identifier, the date-code, batch, customer name, origin, destination, quantity," etc. Id. at 1:45-50. Regardless of the specific categories included, to ensure accurate tracking, it is critical that the data uniquely identify the tagged object. Id. at 2:21-22, 2:48-50.
In the RFID industry, uniqueness is ensured by assigning RFID tags an Electronic Product Code (EPC or EPCglobal) [*3] in accordance with certain global formatting standards. An EPC is a serialized object number comprising object class information and a serial number that together uniquely identify the associated object. See id. at 9:7-15. For example, the EPC may be a Serialized Global Trade Item Number (SGTIN), which consists of a Global Trade Item Number identifying the brand and class of the item (i.e., object class information) followed by a serial number uniquely identifying the tagged item within the brand and class. Id. Since objects from the same brand and class will share the same object class information, ensuring the uniqueness of the overall EPC amounts to ensuring uniqueness of the serial number.
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2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 34765 *; 55 F.4th 900
ADASA INC., Plaintiff-Appellee v. AVERY DENNISON CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellant
Prior History: [*1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Oregon in No. 6:17-cv-01685-MK, Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai.
Adasa Inc. v. Avery Dennison Corp., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167197, 2020 WL 5518184 (D. Or., Sept. 14, 2020)Adasa, Inc. v. Avery Dennison Corp., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 239559, 2021 WL 5921374 (D. Or., Dec. 15, 2021)
Disposition: AFFIRMED-IN-PART, REVERSED-IN-PART, VACATED-IN-PART, AND REMANDED-IN-PART.
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