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Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson v. TCL Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

November 7, 2019, Decided

2017-2381, 2017-2385

Opinion

 [*1342]  Newman, Circuit Judge.

Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson ("Ericsson") is the owner of United States Patent No. 6,029,052 ("the '052 patent"). TCL Corporation, TCL Communication Technology Holdings, Ltd., TCT Mobile Limited, TCT Mobile Inc., and TCT Mobile (US), Inc., (collectively "TCL") filed two petitions for inter partes review ("IPR") of claims 13, 15, 16, and 18 of the '052 patent. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB" or "Board") instituted review, consolidated the petitions, and ruled that all of the challenged claims are unpatentable on the ground of obviousness.1

The '052 patent describes and claims a "direct conversion receiver" for wireless communication systems that may receive [**2]  signals from systems that operate at different frequency bands. The primary issue on appeal is whether a specific foreign publication is an available reference against the '052 patent. We affirm the Board's decision that the specified publication is an available reference, and based on this publication in combination with other prior art we affirm the Board's decision of invalidity of the challenged claim.

The Ericsson '052 Patent

The method claimed in the '052 patent is stated to be an improvement over conventional modes of receiving and processing  [*1343]  wireless signals from communication systems that operate at differing frequencies. Such systems previously required separate receiver components to process signals arriving at differing frequencies. The '052 patent claims a method whereby receivers "can receive signals at multiple frequency bands without requiring significant hardware duplication." '052 patent, col. 2, ll. 3-28.

Claim 18 is at issue on appeal, shown with claim 13 from which it depends:

13. A method for receiving a communication signal, comprising the steps of:

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941 F.3d 1341 *; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 33296 **; 2019 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 428076; 2019 WL 5792492

TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON, Appellant v. TCL CORPORATION, TCL COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS LIMITED, TCT MOBILE LIMITED, TCT MOBILE, INC., TCT MOBILE (US) INC., Appellees

Prior History:  [**1] Appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. IPR2015-01584, IPR2015-01600.

Disposition: AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

frequency, signal, divider, phase, shifter, oscillator, receiver, filter, teaching, quadrature, argues, disadvantages, conversion, Declaration, in-phase, publicly, generating, multimode, bands, patent, references, wireless, mixing, subject matter, high power, prior art, direct-mixing, translation, assembled, renders

Business & Corporate Compliance, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Patent Law, US Patent & Trademark Office Proceedings, Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Nonobviousness, Elements & Tests, Prior Art, De Novo Review, Nonobviousness, Substantial Evidence, Ordinary Skill Standard, Teaching Away From Invention