Sightsound Techs., LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1159 (Fed. Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
SightSound’s patents disclose methods for sale and distribution of digital audio and video signals, requiring: connection, by telecommunications lines, between a party’s memory and a second party’s memory; selling digital signals to the second party for a fee through telecommunications lines; transmitting the signal from the first memory to the second memory by telecommunications lines; and storing the signal in the second memory. Apple sought covered business method (CBM) review under the America Invents Act, 125 Stat. 284, arguing that claims were invalid as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. 102. The Patent Board determined that the patents are CBM patents because they recite an activity that is “financial in nature,” and do not include novel, non-obvious technological features, then determined that there was a reasonable likelihood that the claims were anticipated or obvious by disclosures relating to a 1980s CompuSonics computer system. The petitions did not specifically allege obviousness over CompuSonics. The Board granted SightSound additional time and authorized sur-replies and new declaration testimony on the issue of obviousness, then rejected SightSound’s contention that the term “second memory” is limited to non-removable media and held seven claims invalid as obvious. The Federal Circuit found that it lacked jurisdiction to review the decision to consider issues not explicitly raised in the petitions, but affirmed that the patents are CBM patents and the final decision with respect to claim construction and obviousness.