Wi-LAN, Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 14-1437 (Fed. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Wi-LAN’s 802 patent concerns a wireless data communication technique called “MultiCode Direct-Sequence Spread Spectrum” (MC-DSSS). WiLAN asserts that the patented technique is embodied in several modern wireless communications standards. In 2011, Wi-LAN sued Apple and other technology companies for infringing two claims of the 802 patent by manufacturing and selling products complying with various wide-area communication standards. A jury found that Apple did not infringe and that the claims are invalid. The district court denied Wi-LAN’s motion for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial with respect to infringement, but it granted Wi-LAN’s motion for JMOL of no invalidity. The Federal Circuit affirmed the jury’s verdict of non-infringement as supported by substantial evidence, but reversed the finding of no invalidity. The JMOL determination of no invalidity was based on a post-verdict reconstruction of the claims that went far beyond clarifying a meaning inherent in the construction or making plain what should have been obvious to the jury. The post-verdict reconstruction altered the scope of the original construction and undermined Apple’s invalidity case post-verdict.