Bot M8 LLC v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, No. 22-1291 (Fed. Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Sony petitioned for inter partes review of claims 1–6 of the Bot’s 540 patent, which concerns a gaming machine that authenticates certain data and that has both a motherboard and a different board. Independent claims 1 and 4 require that the “game program” be written to the motherboard only after the game program has been authenticated; the dependent claims (2, 3, 5, and 6) require two different CPUs—one on the motherboard, one on a different board— for executing the “authentication program” and “preliminary authentication program” respectively. The Board determined that the independent claims are unpatentable based on asserted combinations of prior art.
The Federal Circuit affirmed. Bot failed to demonstrate that the Board, in making its unpatentability determinations, actually relied—or even might have relied—on a construction that permits writing portions of the game program to the motherboard before authenticating the game program. The Board found that both prior art references disclose writing only non-game-program data to the motherboard before authenticating the game program. Given Sony’s expert’s explanation and the references themselves, it nonetheless would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art to combine the references to yield the claimed invention. Substantial evidence supports the findings underpinning the obviousness determination.