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Ibormeith v. Mercedes-Benz

Oct 22, 2013
Harold C. Wegner

"Means"-Defined Element without Specific Supporting Structure Invalid, Blackboard Déjà vu

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Today in Ibormeith IP, LLC v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. 2013)(Taranto, J.), aff’g, 889 F. Supp. 2d 677 (D.N.J. 2012), the court sustained a summary judgment ruling of invalidity under 35 USC § 112(f) based upon the absence of any specific structure in the specification corresponding to a means-defined element (“computational means”).

Lessons for Practice, Blackboard Déjà vu: Ibormeith once again restates the requirement for a disclosure of specific structure to support a means-defined element, absent which a claim is fatally indefinite under 35 USC § 112(b). Cases cited in Ibormeith include Blackboard, Inc. v. Desire2Learn Inc., 574 F.3d 1371, 1382-83 (Fed. Cir. 2009); Function Media, LLC v. Google, Inc., 708 F.3d 1310, 1319 (Fed. Cir. 2013); Typhoon Touch Techs., Inc. v. Dell, Inc., 659 F.3d 1376, 1384 (Fed. Cir. 2011); In re Freeman, 573 F.2d 1237, 1245 (CCPA 1978); AllVoice Computing PLC v. Nuance Comm’cns, Inc., 504 F.3d 1236, 1245-46 (Fed. Cir. 2007); WMS Gaming, Inc. v. Int’l Game Tech., 184 F.3d 1339 (Fed. Cir. 1999).

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