Google Wins Keypad Patent Validity Appeal

Written January 7, 2020

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on January 6, 2019, reversed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that held claims of a Koninklijke Philips NV keypad patent valid. Google LLC v. Koninklijke Philips N.V., Fed. Cir., No. 2019-1234, 01/06/2020.

Koninklijke Philips N.V. owns U.S. Patent No. RE44,913, which concerns device keypads that provide both primary and secondary characters associated with particular keys. After Philips sued Acer Inc. and other companies, alleging infringement based on devices that use Google operating systems, Google Inc. petitioned the Patent and Trademark Office, naming Acer and others as real parties in interest, to institute an inter partes review. In September 2018, the Board issued a final written decision concluding that Google had failed to prove obviousness.

The Federal Circuit reversed, finding that Philips’s secondary-character patent claims were invalid because it would have been obvious for an inventor to try to create them.

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