Federal Circuit Holds “User Identification Module” Is A Means-Plus-Function Term And Invalid As Indefinite For Failing To Disclose Corresponding Structure
On March 2, 2021, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion reversing the district court’s conclusion that a claim was not invalid as indefinite. Rain Computing, Inc. v. Samsung Elecs., Am., Inc., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Mar. 2, 2021). The CAFC held that the claim term, “user identification module,” was a means-plus-function limitation under 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 6, and invalid as indefinite for failure to disclose corresponding structure (here, an algorithm).
Federal Circuit Vacates And Remands PTAB’s Obviousness Finding Predicated On Incorrect Claim Construction
On August 12, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) issued an opinion vacating and remanding the obviousness finding of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). MTD Products Inc. v. Iancu, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Aug. 12, 2019). The CAFC ruled that the PTAB’s claim construction on which its obviousness finding was premised was incorrect because the construction conflated corresponding structure in the patent’s specification with a structural definition for the term, instead of construing the term as a means-plus-function term under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6.