Qualcomm Inc. v. Intel Corp., No. 20-1589 (Fed. Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Qualcomm’s patent relates to techniques for generating a power tracking supply voltage for a circuit that processes multiple radio frequency signals simultaneously, using one power amplifier and one power tracking supply generator. Intel petitioned for six inter partes reviews, proposing “a plurality of carrier aggregated transmit signals” means “signals for transmission on multiple carriers at the same time to increase the bandwidth for a user.” Qualcomm proposed the following construction: “signals from a single terminal utilizing multiple component carriers which provide extended transmission bandwidth for a user transmission from the single terminal.” The signals were required to increase user bandwidth. In a parallel proceeding, the International Trade Commission’s construction of the term also included the increased bandwidth requirement.
The Patent Board issued six final written decisions concluding that all challenged claims were unpatentable as obvious, construing the term “a plurality of carrier aggregated transmit signals” in each asserted claim to mean “signals for transmission on multiple carriers,” omitting any requirement that the signals increase or extend bandwidth. The Federal Circuit vacated. The Board violated Qualcomm’s procedural rights. Qualcomm was not afforded notice of, or an adequate opportunity to respond to, the Board’s construction of “a plurality of carrier aggregated transmit signals.”