Recently Apple explained to the ITC that many of the standard-essential patents asserted by Samsung against Apple have failed under the scrutiny of litigation, resulting in a finding of non-infringement or invalidity. Well, Apple can now chalk up another SEP win on the board, although one that has nothing to do with Samsung. Yesterday, Judge Sue Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware ruled on summary judgment that Apple does not infringe two patents alleged by Golden Bridge Technology to be essential to the 3G W-CDMA wireless telecommunications standard.
Golden Bridge is a noted non-practicing entity whose “primary business is the creation, licensing, and enforcement of Wideband CDMA technology and intellectual property.” The company is involved in several lawsuits over its allegedly-essential cellular technology, and even brought (and lost) an antitrust case against several mobile device makers a few years back, where it had accused the mobile device companies of excluding Golden Bridge’s technology from the standard-setting process.
The two patents asserted by Golden Bridge against Apple are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,574,267 and 7,359,427, each titled “Rach ramp-up acknowledgement.” During claim construction, the court construed three disputed terms — “preamble,” “access preamble,” and “discrete power level.” The parties then each moved for summary judgment on the issue of infringement, and Apple moved for summary judgment of invalidity of all asserted claims.
The court denied Golden Bridge’s motion, as well as Apple’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity. But the court granted summary judgment of non-infringement in favor of Apple, because the accused devices — Apple’s W-CDMA-compliant iPhones and iPads — do not practice all of the limitations of the asserted claims. Specifically, the court found that Apple’s products do not practice the limitations of “spreading an access preamble” or “spread access preamble” — i.e., increasing the bandwith of the preamble prior to transmission (as required under the court’s claim construction).
Notably, these patents have been asserted against many other defendants in Delaware, and these defendants and Golden Bridge agreed to consolidate claim construction with the Golden Bridge-Apple case and stay all claims other than those asserted against Apple. Once the stay is lifted, it’s likely that the other defendants will also file motions for summary judgment of non-infringement as well (although Golden Bridge will likely want to keep the stay in effect pending an appeal to the Federal Circuit).