Final Written Decision IPR2013-00069


Takeaway: Inventor declarations supporting a claim construction should not be conclusory and should cite to the specification or ordinary meaning as support.

In its Final Written Decision, the Board found that claims 1-21 of the ’061 Patent are unpatentable. Specifically, the Board found that claims 1-5 and 7-20 are unpatentable as anticipated by Tessier, claim 6 is unpatentable as obvious over Tessier and Meer, and claim 21 is unpatentable as obvious over Tessier and JP.

The ’061 Patent discloses a high performance data cable including a separator having grooves that accommodate twisted pair conductors allowing for easy spacing of the twisted pairs that improves near-end cross-talk and lessens the need for complex, and hard to control lay procedures and individual shielding.

The Board began with claim construction, stating that claim terms in an unexpired patent are interpreted according to their broadest reasonable construction in light of the specification. Claims are given their ordinary and customary meaning, and an inventor can act as his or her own lexicographer by defining a term in the specification with reasonable clarity, deliberateness, and precision.  The Board began by interpreting the term “channel.”  The Board looked to the specification of the ’061 Patent and of U.S. Patent No. 7,339,116 (which shares the same parent and common terms) to develop its interpretation.  The Board then reviewed Patent Owner’s arguments, but found that the arguments contradicted the plain language of the claims.  Patent Owner also submitted a declaration of one of the co-inventors, but the Board did not find it persuasive because intrinsic evidence as to the meaning of “channel” is so unambiguous that it did not have to resort to expert testimony, and the statements in the declaration were conclusory and not supported by a citation to the specification or an ordinary meaning.

The Board then interpreted the term “helically twisted together” by looking to the specification. Again, the Board discussed Patent Owner’s argument, noting that Patent Owner did not provide an explicit claim construction, but rather implied a claim construction through reference to the prior art, using the co-inventor declaration as support.  The Board again rejected Patent Owner’s argument.

The Board then turned to patentability, examining first anticipation of claims 1-5 and 7-20 by Tessier. The Board began by giving a description of the disclosure of Tessier, and then addressed Patent Owner’s specific arguments that Tessier does not disclose certain features of the claims.  Based upon the Board’s interpretations of the claims, the Board found Patent Owner’s arguments unpersuasive.  The Board then examined whether claim 6 is obvious over Tessier and Meer.  Focusing again on the deficiencies alleged by Patent Owner, the Board found that Patent Owner’s arguments were unpersuasive given that they focused on claim 6’s dependence from claim 1, which was already found unpatentable.  Finally, the Board discussed whether claim 21 is obvious over Tessier and JP.  Again, Patent Owner’s arguments focused on claim 21’s dependence from claim 19, and given that the Board already found claim 19 to be unpatentable, the Board similarly found Patent Owner’s arguments unpersuasive as to claim 21.

Berk-Tek LLC v. Belden Technologies, Inc., IPR2013-00069
Paper 24: Final Written Decision
Dated: April 28, 2014
Before: Jameson Lee, Josiah C. Cocks, and Phillip J. Kauffman
Written by: Kauffman