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Apple Inc. v. Andrea Elecs. Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

February 7, 2020, Decided

2018-2382, 2018-2383

Opinion

 [*699]  PLAGER, Circuit Judge.

The patent at issue in this appeal, U.S. Patent No. 6,363,345 ("the '345 patent"), relates to certain aspects of digital audio processing. On September 19, 2016, Andrea Electronics Corp. ("Andrea or Appellee"), assignee of the '345 patent, sued Apple, Inc. ("Apple or Appellant") for infringement of the '345 patent in the Eastern District of New York. J.A. 1151-70. On January 9, 2017, Appellant Apple filed two inter partes review ("IPR") petitions—the '626 IPR and '627 IPR—with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, challenging the validity of claims 1-25 and 38-47 of the patent.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("Board") instituted review of both petitions and consolidated the proceedings. In its '626 IPR Final Written [**2]  Decision, the Board concluded that, in light of the prior art cited by Apple, all challenged claims except claims 4-11 and 39-47 of the '345 patent are unpatentable. In the course of reaching that conclusion, the Board declined to consider certain arguments in Apple's '626 IPR reply brief applicable to claims 6-9 on the ground that Apple was raising new arguments in its reply brief that were not entitled to consideration at that late stage in the proceedings.

In its '627 IPR Final Written Decision, the Board concluded that, in light of other cited art, all challenged claims of the '345 patent except claims 6-9, 17-20, 24, and 47 are unpatentable. In reaching that conclusion, the Board adopted a claim construction of the claim term "periodically" in favor of Andrea that supported its analysis. Between the two IPRs, the Board held that all challenged claims except claims 6-9 are unpatentable.

With regard to the '626 IPR Board decision, Apple appeals the Board's conclusion that claims 6-9 are surviving claims, arguing that had the Board properly considered its reply brief arguments, that would not have been the outcome. With regard to the '627 IPR Board decision, Apple argues that the Board erred in its conclusion [**3]  that, based on the prior art cited, claims 6-9 are not unpatentable as either anticipated or obvious.

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949 F.3d 697 *; 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 3811 **; 2020 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 44318; 2020 WL 593661

APPLE INC., Appellant v. ANDREA ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, Appellee

Prior History:  [**1] Appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. IPR2017-00626, IPR2017-00627.

Apple, Inc., v. Andrea Elecs. Corp., 2018 Pat. App. LEXIS 7291 (P.T.A.B., July 12, 2018)Apple, Inc., v. Andrea Elecs. Corp., 2018 Pat. App. LEXIS 7292 (P.T.A.B., July 12, 2018)

Disposition: AFFIRMED-IN-PART, VACATED-IN-PART, AND REMANDED.

CORE TERMS

estimate, frequency, minimum value, signal, algorithm, noise, patent, reply, background noise, sub-windows, magnitude, bin, regular intervals, discloses, threshold, audio signal, update, reply brief, calculated, corresponding, prior art, unpatentable, embodiment, time to time, monotonically, anticipated, limitations, stationary, interval, domain

Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Business & Corporate Compliance, Patent Law, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Reexamination Proceedings, Infringement Actions, Claim Interpretation, Standards of Review, Claim Interpretation, Aids & Extrinsic Evidence, Anticipation & Novelty, Fact & Law Issues, Substantial Evidence