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United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
May 23, 2017, Decided
[*1316] [***1059] LINN, Circuit Judge.
Adrian Rivera and Adrian Rivera Maynez Enterprises (collectively, "Rivera") appeal from a divided decision by the International Trade Commission, finding no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, based on the Commission's holding of invalidity of certain asserted claims of Rivera's U.S. Patent No. 8,720,320 ("'320 patent"), filed July 13, 2007, titled "Pod Adaptor System for Single Service Beverage Brewers." In re Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-929 (April 5, 2016) (Final) ("Beverage Capsules" and "Beverage Capsules Dissent").
Because substantial evidence supports [**2] the Commission's holding that all asserted claims are invalid for lack of written description, we affirm. We need not, and do not, reach any of the alternative grounds for affirmance.
A. The Disclosure in the '320 patent
The '320 patent describes single-brew coffee machines falling into two general categories. "Some machines have brewing chambers configured to receive pods which are small, flattened disk-shaped filter packages of beverage extract, while other machines are configured [***1060] to accommodate larger, cup-shaped beverage filter cartridges." '320 patent, col. 1, ll. 17-21. The Keurig® system, which uses "K-Cups," is an example of the latter system.
The patent describes the Keurig® brewer in some detail, and notes that it "inherently limits the use of the machine to cup-shaped cartridges," id. at col. 1, ll. 40-41, so that "users of the Keurig machine . . . would have to purchase a different machine to brew beverage from pods, which are typically somewhat flattened disc shaped filter paper packets containing coffee," id. at col. 1, ll. 41-45. Because multiple machines are inconvenient and expensive, the '320 patent identifies "a need for brewers configured for cup-shaped cartridges [to] also be used to brew beverages [**3] from pods." Id. at col. 1, ll. 47-50.
The '320 explicitly defines a "pod" as follows: "As used herein, the term 'pod' is a broad term and shall have its ordinary meaning and shall include, but not be limited to, a package formed of a water permeable material and containing an amount of ground coffee or other beverage therein." Id. at col. 1, l. 66 - col. 2, l. 3.
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857 F.3d 1315 *; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8931 **; 123 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1059 ***; 2017 WL 2233501
ADRIAN RIVERA, ADRIAN RIVERA MAYNEZ ENTERPRISES, Appellants v. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION, Appellee SOLOFILL, LLC, Intervenor
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States International Trade Commission in Investigation No. 337-TA-929.
Eko Brands, Inc. v. Adrian Rivera Maynez Enters., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110233 (W.D. Wash., Aug. 17, 2016)
pod, beverage, filter, cartridge, specification, receptacle, brewing, written description, assembly, integrated, container, adapted, embodiments, adaptor, brewers, configured, coffee, cup-shaped, patent, machines, disclosure, surface, teach, permeable, Capsules, chamber, invention, artisans, opening, asserted claim
Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Substantial Evidence, International Trade Law, US International Trade Commission Proceedings, Judicial Review, Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Specifications, Description Requirement, Standards & Tests