method : CAFC Alert

Parker Vision on Functional Claim Limitations

| September 28, 2018

ParkerVision, Inc. v. Qualcomm Incorporated

September 13, 2018

Before O’Malley, Reyna and Taranto.  Precedential Opinion by O’Malley, joined by Reyna and Taranto.


Qualcomm filed three inter partes review proceedings challenging the validity of claims of ParkerVision’s U.S. Patent No. 6,091,940 (the ‘940 patent) based on obviousness.  ParkerVision appealed the PTAB’s decision holding apparatus claims of the ‘940 patent as being obvious, and Qualcomm cross-appealed the PTAB’s decision holding method claims of the ‘940 patent as being not obvious.   On the one hand, the CAFC affirmed that the apparatus  claims were invalid, denying ParkerVision’s argument that Qualcomm had not identified conditions in which the prior art device would operate to perform a function of generating “a plurality of harmonics” within the apparatus claim, explaining that only the capability to perform the function is required for an apparatus claim.  On the other hand, the CAFC affirmed that the method claims were not invalid, denying Qualcomm’s cross-appeal for failing to provide any argument or evidence as to why a person of ordinary skill would have selected operating conditions that would cause the prior art to perform the function of creating “a plurality of harmonics”  as claimed.

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