SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. v. ELM 3DS INNOVATIONS, LLC

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. v. ELM 3DS INNOVATIONS, LLC, Appeal No. 2017-2474 (Fed. Cir. June 12, 2019).  Before Moore, Reyna, and Chen.  Appealed from PTAB.  (Claim Construction)

Background:

Samsung challenged the validity of 105 claims of 11 patents owned by Elm by petitioning the PTAB 13 times for inter partes review of Elm’s patents, the appeals for which were consolidated into this case.  Elm’s patents are related to stacked integrated circuit memory, the patents share a specification, and all but two of the claims at issue use the term “substantially flexible” to modify either a semiconductor substrate or a circuit layer.

The Board construed the term “substantially flexible” according to its ordinary and customary meaning, and relied on a general-purpose dictionary to interpret the term to mean “largely able to bend without breaking.” Ultimately, the Board held that Samsung had not met their burden of demonstrating that the claims were unpatentable because the prior art did not disclose the “substantially flexible” limitation.

Issue/Holding:

Did the Board err by construing the claim terms according to their ordinary and customary meaning? (continue reading)

Summary byGary Koo

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