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United Video Props., Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 04-08-2014
Case #: 2013-1396
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Full Text Opinion: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3900843681446412884
LexisNxis Link: 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6418
Westlaw Link: 2014 WL 1363539

Patents: When considering claim construction courts conduct a de novo review but consider the patents prosecution history.

Opinion (Lourie): United Video and TV Guide Online offer products to cable providers including the licensing of its patent portfolio. One of the patents (128) concerned the delivery of television schedules electronically. Another patent (690) is for a system which allows a person to use an interactive guide to select and pay for a television program.
Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) offers an “Instant Video” service which delivers on-demand television shows through Amazon.com and certain devices.
United Video and TV Guide Online, are subsidiaries of Rovi Corp (Rovi). Rovi sued Amazon alleging patent infringement of the two aforementioned patents.
In the lower court, a data feed claim for the 128 patent was limited to “an updatable transmission of data sent by a television programming provider over television signals.” and a relevant part of the 690 patent claim was construed as “an application that produces interactive display screens identifying the channels and times on which television programs will air.”
After those clarifications Rovi stipulated to noninfringement of all claims and a judgment of non infringement was entered.
Rovi appealed the claim construction, arguing that the court erred in its construction of both patent phrases, which is reviewed by the Appellate court.
According to the case Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Elecs. N.A. Corp., claim construction is reviewed de novo. And, from the case Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d at 1317 “"a court 'should also consider the patent's prosecution history'" when construing a claim.”
Rovi contends that the scope of the 128 patent infringement claim was incorrectly limited by excluding internet delivery as a data feed. History of their patent application showed the desire to include the internet as a delivery method. But, the Court agreed that removal of references to internet delivery during the patent prosecution process shows Rovi’s renunciation of that aspect of the patent.
Rovi contended that the 690 patent infringement claim was incorrectly limited when the lower court relegated its system to schedule programming instead of available TV shows for viewing on demand. However, the Court reviewed the figures of the 690 patent and its patent history to find that the patent only describes a system for schedule broadcasts and “forward-looking” programming.
The appellate court therefore AFFIRMED the claim construction of the lower court and AFFIRMED the judgment of noninfringement.