The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit cracked down on a vague software patent in a ruling last week. The Federal Circuit, which hears all U.S. patent appeals, affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in two cases brought by EON Corp. IP Holdings LLC.
“Resolution of this case is straightforward,” Chief Judge Sharon Prost wrote in the May 6 opinion. “The district court made explicit factual findings, based on expert testimony, that each of the eight claim terms at issue recited complicated, customized computer software.
“We see no clear error in any of the district court’s factual findings, nor any error in the district court’s ultimate conclusion of indefiniteness.”
Prost noted that EON does not contend on appeal that the terms at issue recite functions that are coextensive with a microprocessor.
EON also does not differentiate between any of the claim terms in its argument, the chief judge said.
“In fact, EON cites to testimony from its expert that a person skilled in the art would need to consult algorithms outside the specification to implement the claimed functions,” she wrote in the 14-page ruling. “Similarly, based on expert testimony, the district court found that ‘special code would have to be written in order to accomplish the claimed functionality.’