Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Correction of Obvious Error Saves Patent Claim From Indefiniteness

The court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment that plaintiff's wireless communication patent was invalid as indefinite and granted plaintiff's motion to correct an obvious error in the patent. "During prosecution of [a patent-in-suit] the patent examiner corrected the phrase 'subscribers' to 'subcarriers' in claim 7 to avoid the absurdity of a cellular system where 'subscriber units' are 'allocated' to themselves. Recognizing a similar, but uncorrected, problem in another claim, Plaintiff . . . now asks this court to complete the task. . . . Neither party disputes that the term 'subscriber units' as used in claim 18 is nonsensical because the [patent-in-suit] concerns only the allocation of subcarriers, not subscriber units. . . . Rather than suggesting a different construction, the prosecution history reinforces the conclusion that 'subcarriers' is the only reasonable construction of claim 18’s reference to 'subscriber units.'. . . While [plaintiff] could have and perhaps should have acted more promptly, Defendants cite no case limiting judicial correction under the present circumstances."

Adaptix, Inc. v. Apple, Inc. et al, 5-13-cv-01777 (CAND October 27, 2014, Order) (Grewal, M.J.)

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