ACQIS, LLC v. EMC Corporation (14-cv-13560).

  • May 1, 2023

ACQIS alleges that EMC infringes eleven ACQIS patents relating to modular computer systems in which computer modules can be removed from one console (keyboard, mouse, display and disk drive) and inserted into another to form a complete personal computer. The case was initially filed in the Eastern District of Texas along with three related lawsuits against different defendants, and disputed claim terms were construed prior to the case being transferred to Massachusetts. The case was then stayed pending inter partes review of three of the asserted claims, all of which survived. Judge Burroughs noted that the prior Markman opinion, issued by the Texas court, was entitled to 201creasoned deference, 201d but indicated that she could revisit and alter constructions as the court 2019s understanding of the technology evolves. Judge Burroughs then looked to the IPR proceedings with an eye on preventing the patentee from recapturing, through a broader construction, specific meanings that were disclaimed during the IPR proceedings. With respect to the term 201cPCI bus transaction, 201d which had previously been construed to require information in accordance with the PCI Standard but not necessarily to require a PCI bus, Judge Burroughs found that ACQIS 2019 argument in IPR that a prior art reference did not meet this limitation because it contained 201cno PCI bus 201d did not constitute a clear and unmistakable disclaimer of a broader meaning based on later statements by ACQIS clarifying that the presence of a PCI bus was not dispositive of a PCI transaction, and that the analysis of prosecution history estoppel must take the prosecution into account 201cas a whole. 201d She construed a second term, on the other hand, more narrowly than had the Texas court because ACQIS had made 201cnumerous and repetitive statements in the IPR 2019s 201d that clearly and unmistakably showed the term to be more narrow than it had previously been construed, resulting in disclaimer of the earlier, broader scope.

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