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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
April 17, 2017, Decided
[*1374] [***1302] Stoll, Circuit Judge.
A jury found that Samsung infringed Rembrandt's asserted patents, which the jury also found not invalid over prior art cited by Samsung. The jury awarded Rembrandt $15.7 million in damages. After trial, Samsung moved for judgment as a matter of law on obviousness and damages, which the district court denied. Samsung appeals the district court's denial of JMOL, as well as the district court's claim construction order [**2] and an order denying Samsung's motion to limit Rembrandt's damages for alleged failure to mark patented articles.
Because we agree with the district court's challenged claim construction and its denial of Samsung's JMOL motions, we affirm those decisions. We disagree, however, with the district court's denial of Samsung's motion based on the marking statute, and we vacate that decision and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Rembrandt Wireless Technologies, LP, sued Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC in the United States District Court for Eastern District of Texas on March 15, 2013 for infringement of two patents that share a specification: U.S. Patent No. 8,023,580 [***1303] and a continuation patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,457,228. These patents claim priority to a provisional application filed on December 5, 1997, and relate to "a system and method of communication in which multiple modulation methods are used to facilitate communication among a plurality of modems in a network, which have heretofore been incompatible."'580 patent col. 2 ll. 17-20. The patents explain that in the prior art "a transmitter and receiver modem pair can successfully communicate [**3] only when the modems are compatible at the physical layer." Id. at col. 1 ll. 27-29. As a result, "communication between modems is generally unsuccessful unless a common modulation method is used." Id. at col. 1 ll. 45-47. Particularly with modems communicating via master/slave protocol, the patents explain that "[i]f one or more of the trib modems [slaves] are not compatible with the modulation method used by the master, those tribs will be unable to receive communications from the master." Id. at col. 1 ll. 58-61. To overcome the challenges described in the prior art, the patents propose using the first section of a transmitted message (the message "header") to indicate the modulation method being used for the substance of the message (the message "payload").
Claim 2 of the '580 patent, which is dependent upon claim 1, is representative:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
853 F.3d 1370 *; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6502 **; 122 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1301 ***; 2017 WL 1370089
REMBRANDT WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES, LP, Plaintiff-Appellee v. SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD., SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC., SAMSUNG TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMERICA, LLC, Defendants-Appellants SAMSUNG AUSTIN SEMICONDUCTOR, L.L.C., RESEARCH IN MOTION CORPORATION, RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD., Defendants
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in No. 2:13-cv-00213-JRG, Judge J. Rodney Gilstrap.
Rembrandt Wireless Techs. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19902 (E.D. Tex., Feb. 9, 2015)Rembrandt Wireless Techs., LP v. Samsung Elecs. Co., Ltd., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10590 (E.D. Tex., Jan. 29, 2016)Rembrandt Wireless Techs., LP v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93645 (E.D. Tex., July 10, 2014)
Disposition: AFFIRMED-IN-PART, VACATED-IN-PART, AND REMANDED.
modulation, patent, district court, damages, infringement, marking, disclaimer, slave, sequence, chips, patentee, notice, combine, teaches, prior art, argues, transmission, pre-notice, royalty rate, embodying, products, modems, phase, substantial evidence to support, motivation, protocol, license, parties, skill, patented article
Patent Law, Infringement Actions, Claim Interpretation, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Interference Proceedings, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Postverdict Judgment, Substantial Evidence, Evidence, Types of Evidence, Testimony, Credibility of Witnesses, Nonobviousness, Elements & Tests, Prior Art, Teaching Away From Invention, Claims, Claim Language, Dependent Claims, Elements & Tests, Abuse of Discretion, Remedies, Damages, Damages, Patentholder Losses, Reasonable Royalties, Defenses, Marking