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Typhoon Touch Technologies, Inc. v. Dell, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-04-2011
Case #: 2009-1589
Rader, Newman, and Prost
Full Text Opinion: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/09-1589.pdf

Patents: For computer-implemented procedures, the actual computer code does not need to appear in the specification, the algorithm may be described in words sufficient to allow one of ordinary skill in the art to implement the algorithm.

Typhoon Touch Technologies, Inc. ("Typhoon") appealed the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which held "the patents in suit invalid and not infringed based on the district court's construction of the claims." The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's claim construction and judgment of noninfringement regarding claim terms "memory for storing," "processor for executing," "operating in conjunction," and "keyboardless." However the Court reversed the district court's ruling that the claim term "means for cross-referencing" was indefinite. Typhoon argued that the specification contained "adequate algorithmic criteria ... to perform the computer-implemented function." The Court reasoned, "the amount of detail that must be included in the specification depends on the subject matter that is described and its role in the invention as a whole, in view of the existing knowledge in the field of invention." Here, "means for cross-referencing" was "supported by the 'structure, materials, or acts' in the specification." Although the specific mathematical algorithm was not included in the specification, "it suffices if the specification recites in prose the algorithm to be implemented by the programmer." The specification stated steps sufficient to allow implementation of the algorithm by one skilled in the art. Thus, the Court reversed the district court's judgment of invalidity on this ground. AFFIRMED in part, REVERSED in part.