Amazon and Blizzard Entertainment, a game developer questioned the validity of a certain patent owned by Swiss company AC Technologies. They wanted to invalidate it on grounds of obviousness.
This patent (US number 7,904,680) was named as “Data access management system as well as a method for data access and data management for a computer system”. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board or PTAB invalidated certain points or claims of the same patent due to obviousness.
The said patent for data management system was granted to the Swiss company in 2011. Amazon and Blizzard filed an application for the inter partes review of the patent on basis of a research paper by Michael Rabinovich.
PTAB sided with Amazon and invalidated some claims of the patent on the grounds raised by the plaintiffs. AC Technologies appealed against this decision at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The defendant argued that the system mentioned in the research paper required the storage of a complete data file. However, the system in its patent required redundant storage of file pieces.
Federal Circuit rejected this claim of AC Technologies. Furthermore, the defendant claimed that PTAB had exceeded its authority and denied them a fair trial. This claim is also rejected by the Federal Circuit.
On 9th January 2019, the Federal Circuit issued the precedential decision re-affirming the decision of PTAB. They stated an IPR must address all grounds of unpatentability if it has been initiated.
They further stated, the Board did not exceed its statutory authority by reviewing the claims, it was quite the opposite. They also ordered AC Technologies to pay the costs to Amazon and Blizzard.