Bradium Technologies LLC. vs Andrei Iancu

Bradium Technologies LLC. v. Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce For Intellectual Property and Director of The United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

           Case Summary: Gaurav Mohindra

Appeal from USPTO, Patent Trial and Appeal Board

Decided May 13, 2019

Plaintiff, Bradium Technologies, appeals the final decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board fining the claims of US Patent Nos. 7,908,343 and 8,924,506 unpatentable as obvious in two inter partes review proceedings.

The patents in question are both related, as the ‘506 patent is a continuation -in-part of the ‘343 patent.  Both patents have similar written descriptions.  The claims are directed towards retrieving and processing images over networked communications channels having low bandwidth and rendering said images on low powered client devices.

The images are often three dimensional geographic images, such as maps or satellite imagery.  The high-res images are pre-processed to lower the resolution for improved processing capabilities under lower bandwidth and lower computational powered devices.  The client devices determines the priority of the images requested from the server based on a user’s field of view, thereby not requiring the entire file to be transmitted and rendered in its entirety.

Microsoft Corporation petitioned the PTAB for an inter partes review of the patents. An inter partes review is a proceeding before the PTAB to assess of the patentability of a patent, says Gaurav MohindraThe PTAB found both patents as obvious over two prior art references.  Post institution, Bradium proposed that term “limited bandwidth communication channel” be construed as “wireless or narrowband communications channel.” 

Microsoft argued that no construction should be required and the term should be construed on its plain and ordinary meaning.  Accordingly, the PTAB agreed with Microsoft and found that the term means “a communications channel whose bandwidth is limited.”  While assessing the patentability of the claims, the PTAB found that claims were disclosed in prior art references.

On appeal, the Federal Circuit found that the PTAB properly construed “limited bandwidth communications channel” to have its plain and ordinary meaning.  The Court found that that the PTAB properly relied on the written description and inventor testimony.

The Court also agree with the PTAB in finding that that the claims are obvious in light of the prior art.  In conclusion the Court held that the PTAB properly construed the term “limited bandwidth communications channel,” and that substantial evidence supports the PTAB’s obviousness finding.