In an IPR miracle, Denso Corporation was unsuccessful in forcing any of 17 challenged claims of a Beacon Navigation patent into an inter partes review trial, marking just the second time that a petition seeking inter partes review was denied. The case is styled Denso Corporation v. Beacon Navigation GmbH (IPR2013-00027), involving US Pat. No. 5,862,511. The Board denied all 60 challenge grounds put forth by the Patent Challenger for failure to demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that one or more of the challenged claims is unpatentable.
The ‘511 patent describes a navigation system and method in which a GPS-derived velocity vector including speed and heading components is used for propagating a “previous position” to a “current position.” If a GPS-derived velocity vector is not available, speed and heading information derived from an orthogonal axes accelerometer and other sensors is used to propagate vehicle position. Because the GPS information is almost always available, less reliance on accelerometers is needed, thereby allowing the use of less expensive accelerometers. The accelerometers are repeatedly calibrated using the GPS-derived velocity data.
After briefly discussing related matters and claim construction, the Board proceeded to analyze each of Patent Challenger’s grounds for challenge. To that end, the Board picked apart each of the 102 grounds propounded by Patent Challenger, finding that, in one way or another, the cited references failed to disclose one or more limitations from the challenged claims. For example, one reference (Odagawa) failed to disclose the limitation of correcting the GPS-derived velocity vector by rotating it in accordance with map data or otherwise. Order at 9. Similarly, another reference (Klein) failed to disclose that the velocity vector heading must be corrected by reference to map data before that velocity vector is used to propagate a position to a current position. Lastly, a third reference (Anderson) failed to describe “correcting the heading portion of a velocity vector at all, much less using the corrected velocity vector to proagate a previous position to a current position.” Order at 17. Other purported 102 references were similarly found lacking one element or another from the challenged claims.
Interestingly, the Board also commented on an obviousness challenge made by Patent Challenger, in connection with the Anderson reference, that contained a “catch all” statement. Order at 17-18. Specifically, Patent Challenger tried to assert that “any claim element…not found in the references…would be predictable and obvious to one of ordinary skill in the area of navigation systems.” But, the Board found this summary argument unpersuasive. Patent Challenger must carry the burden of establishing a reason for unpatentability sufficient to meet the threshold for instituting a trial. Such “catch all” statements are insufficient to meet the threshold for instituting a trial. Order at 18.
In the end, this petition failed, where so many others succeeded, because Patent Challenger did not adequately indicate where each and every limitation of the challenged claims was contained in the multitude of 102 references. Further, Patent Challenger did not put forth sufficient evidence to support its 103 contentions. As a result, the Board denied all 55 anticipation challenge grounds and all 5 obviousness challenge grounds.