Skky, Inc. v. MindGeek, S.A.R.L.

June 07, 2017

Federal Circuit No. 2016-2018

Author: Jae Seok Ahn

Skky appealed the PTAB's decision in an IPR that Skky's patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,548,875) is obvious over a prior art reference (US 7,065,342, "Rolf").

On appeal, Skky asserted that the claim term "wireless device means" invokes §112, para. 6, in an attempt to distinguishing over Rolf by importing limitations from the written description into the claims.  Skky argued that corresponding structure of "wireless device means" as described in the specification have multiple processors, which were missing in Rolf, and the claims should be also interpreted to require such elements.

The Federal Circuit denied the argument on the grounds that the term "wireless device" is used by a skilled person in the art to designate structure and the claim does not recite any functions performed by "wireless device means."  In the claims of the '875 patent, the term "wireless device means" is not linked to or associated with any functional language.  Instead, the claims merely recite "wireless device means" as a recipient of media files transmitted from one or more servers.

As a result, the court construed the claim under the broadest reasonable interpretation standard, and denied Skky's assertion regarding the multiple processors on the grounds that the specification includes an embodiment in which Skky's invention is implemented with software (i.e., without a need for additional processor) in a conventional cell phone having a single processor.