GENUINE ENABLING TECHNOLOGY v. NINTENDO CO., LTD.
- Apr 1 2022 |
- Category: CAFC Updates
Genuine sued Nintendo alleging that five Nintendo products (the Wii Remote; the Nunchuk; the WiiU Game Pad; Switch Joy-Con Controller; and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller) infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,219,730 entitled “Method and Apparatus for Producing a Combined Data Stream and Recovering Therefrom the Respective User Input Stream and at Least One Additional Input Signal.” The parties submitted claim construction briefing to the District Court in which they disputed the proper construction of the claim term “input signal” in all asserted claims. The District Court construed the term “input signal” consistent with Nintendo’s proposed construction. Nintendo moved for summary judgment of non-infringement predicated on the district court’s acceptance of its claim construction of “input signal,” and arguing that its accused controllers produce the types of slow-varying signals that the inventor disclaimed during prosecution when he distinguished his inventions from the prior art. The district court issued an order granting Nintendo’s motion for summary judgment. Genuine appealed. The CAFC concludes that the only disavowal of claim scope that is clear and unmistakable is the inventor’s disavowal of signals below the audio frequency spectrum. To the extent the inventor’s statements may implicate other claim scope – such as signals of frequency up to 500 Hz – the CAFC finds that the record does not rise to the level of establishing a “clear and unmistakable” disavowal. Concluding that the district court erred in construing “input signal,” and construing that term to mean “a signal having an audio or higher frequency,” the CAFC reverses the grant of summary judgment of non-infringement and remands for further proceedings.