Nidec Motor Corp. v. Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
August 22, 2017, Decided
[*1014] [***1864] Per Curiam.
Nidec Motor Corporation ("Nidec") appeals a final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("Board") in an inter partes review ("IPR"). The Board [**2] determined that claims 1-3, 8, 9, 12, 16, and 19 of U.S. Patent No. 7,626,349 (the "'349 Patent") are invalid as anticipated or obvious. We affirm.
Appellant Nidec owns the '394 patent, which is directed to low-noise heating, ventilating, and air conditioning ("HVAC") systems. The patented HVAC system includes a permanent magnet electric motor that turns a fan in order to move air through ductwork. As compared to conventional HVAC systems, the invention achieves quieter operation of the motor due to improvements in the motor controller. Specifically, the improved motor controller performs sinewave commutation instead of more conventional square-wave commutation. Commutation refers generally to the repeated sequencing of electrical currents applied to windings within the permanent magnet motor that causes the motor to rotate. Square-wave commutation involves abrupt changes in the voltage applied to a given winding as the sequence progresses, similar to repeatedly flipping a switch between three voltage states: positive, zero, and negative. Sinewave commutation, by contrast, involves more gradual [*1015] and continuous oscillations in applied voltage, similar to sliding a dimmer switch between those states. As compared to square-wave [**3] commutation, sinewave commutation results in less vibration and noise generated from the electric motor.
Appellees Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor Co., Ltd.; Broad Ocean Motor LLC; and Broad Ocean Technologies, LLC (collectively, "Broad Ocean") filed an IPR petition challenging claims 1-3, 8, 9, 12, 16, and 19 of the '349 patent (the "challenged claims"). In a revised petition ("First Petition"), Broad Ocean asserted that the challenged claims are invalid as obvious over the combination of U.S. Patent No. 5,410,230 ("Bessler") and a published doctoral thesis by Peter Franz Kocybik ("Kocybik"). Broad Ocean also asserted that the challenged claims are invalid as anticipated by Japanese Patent Publication JP 2003-348885 ("Hideji").
On January 21, 2015, the Board instituted review on the ground of obviousness over Bessler and Kocybik. The Board declined to institute review on the ground of anticipation by Hideji, however, because Broad Ocean had failed to provide an affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the submitted translation of Hideji as required by 37 C.F.R. § 42.63(b).Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.
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868 F.3d 1013 *; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15923 **; 123 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1863 ***; 2017 WL 3597455
NIDEC MOTOR CORPORATION, Appellant v. ZHONGSHAN BROAD OCEAN MOTOR CO. LTD., BROAD OCEAN MOTOR LLC, BROAD OCEAN TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Appellees JOSEPH MATAL, PERFORMING THE FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND DIRECTOR, U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, Intervenor
Subsequent History: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Nidec Motor Corp. v. Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor Co., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 2735 (U.S., Apr. 30, 2018)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. IPR2014-01121, IPR2015-00762.
Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor Co. v. Nidec Motor Corp., 2016 Pat. App. LEXIS 7570 (Bd. Pat. App. & Interferences, May 9, 2016)
Patent, joinder, commutation, sinewave, control signal, thermostat, anticipation, teaches, join, signal, desired, permanent magnet, argues, inter partes, invalid, speed, instituted, performing, reciting, airflow, torque
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