Broadcom Wins Important Victory in Reexamination of its ‘080 GPS Patent

Scott Daniels | March 21, 2012

Broadcom and its subsidiary Global Locate received good news Monday when the PTO Board of Appeals reversed a rejection in the reexamination of Global’s U.S. Patent No. 7,158,080, claiming a method and apparatus for acquiring satellite signals using “long term tracking data” received at a remote receiver.  On the basis of a reexamination request filed by SiRF Technology in 2010, the examiner had rejected the ‘080 claims as being anticipated by and obvious over several prior art references. 

In 2009 the ITC found that the ‘080 patent, along with five other Global patents, were infringed by GPS systems imported by SiRF and others and issued a limited exclusion order against the future importation of infringing systems.  Broadcom and Global later filed an enforcement complaint alleging that SiRF was violating the exclusion order.  Accordingly, the ‘080 patent is clearly of considerable commercial significance.

The Board’s analysis will interest reexamination practitioners because it hinges on the Board’s claim construction.  Specifically, the Board found that the examiner had construed the phrase “long term tracking data” too broadly and that once the phrase was properly construed, the claims in reexamination were patentable over the prior art.  Significantly, the Board relied not only on the ‘080 specification, but also on expert declarations submitted by the ‘080 patentee and the requester.  It is common for the Board to rely upon expert declarations for analyzing the technical meaning of prior art or whether a claim is obvious over prior art, but not so common for it to cite such declarations to support its legal conclusions on claim construction. 

Update on one of the Callaway Golf Ball Patent Reexaminations

  Last Thursday the PTO Board affirmed the rejection of Callaway’s U.S. Patent No. 6,495,633 claiming a “dual core” golf ball (95/000,445).  The request had been filed by Acushnet, whom Callaway has sued for infringing the ‘633 patent. 

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