Info-Hold, Inc. v. Muzak, LLC, No. 14-1167 (Fed. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Info-Hold’s patent is directed to systems, apparatuses, and methods for playing music and messages (advertisements) through telephones and public speaker systems. Playback order of the music and message tracks is set on a remote server that generates and sends control signals to message playback devices, such as public address systems at retail stores and music-on-hold systems that play the tracks over the telephone to callers who are on hold. Info-Hold filed suit in 2003, accusing AMTC of infringement. During the litigation, a third-party initiated an ex parte reexamination, resulting in a stay. While reexamination was pending, Info-Hold brought a separate suit against Muzak. After the patent emerged from reexamination, the court construed claims: “when a caller is placed on hold,” “transmit,” “message play back device,” and “operable to generate and transmit control signals.” All constructions were unfavorable to Info-Hold. The court granted summary judgment to Muzak that, notwithstanding infringement, Info-Hold was not entitled to royalty damages, and that Muzak did not induce infringement. The Federal Circuit reversed summary judgment of no damages for infringement, vacated as to no induced infringement, and affirmed construction of the sole term in dispute.