FEDERAL CIRCUIT FINDS THE TERM “VIRTUALLY FREE FROM INTERFERENCE” TO BE DEFINITE

ONE-E-WAY, INC. v. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION, Appeal No. 16-2105 (Fed. Cir. June 12, 2017).  Before Prost, Wallach and Stoll.  Appealed from the International Trade Commission.  (Indefiniteness)

Background:

In this case, One-E-Way filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Sony Corporation and various other respondents infringed claims of two of its patents.  The patents are directed to a wireless digital audio system, which allows multiple users within the same space to use wireless headphones without interference.  More specifically, the use of the wireless headphones is “virtually free from interference from device transmitted signals operating in the [wireless digital audio system] spectrum,” as recited in the claims.

Respondents filed a motion for summary determination that the term “virtually free from interference” is indefinite.  The administrative law judge (ALJ) granted the motion, and upon consideration of the claims, found that the term was indefinite.  One-E-Way petitioned the ITC for review, and the ITC affirmed the ALJ’s finding of indefiniteness.  One-E-Way appealed to the Federal Circuit.

Issue/Holding:

Did the ITC err in holding that the term “virtually free from interference” rendered One-E-Way’s claims indefinite?  (continue reading)

Summary byDonna Mason

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