TVIIM v. McAfee (Fed. Cir. 2017) [tviim]
A N.D. California jury held that TVIIM’s U.S. Patent No. 6,889,168 was both invalid as anticipated and not infringed. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed.
Here, the patentee argued that the jury’s verdict applied an inconsistent claim construction since, if the claims were broad enough to be anticipated then they would have also been infringed. Likewise, IVIIM argues that if the claims were so narrow as to not be infringed, then they also would not have been anticipated by the prior art. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit rejected that approach for several reasons – most notably, that any error was harmless since “On appeal, TVIIM concedes that substantial evidence supports the jury’s finding for either non-infringement or invalidity but argues it does not support both.”
The result here is that a potentially inconsistent verdict is not improper so long as any possible resolution of the inconsistency reaches the same outcome (here, that the patentee loses). In this case, any proposed construction of the claim terms resulted in either the patent being invalid or being not infringed.
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Claim 1 of the asserted patent is listed below:
1. A security system for a computer apparatus, wherein said computer apparatus includes a processor and system memory, said security system comprising:
at least one security module which under direction from the processor accesses and analyzes selected portions of the computer apparatus to identify vulnerabilities;
at least one utility module which under the direction from the processor, performs various utility functions with regards to the computer apparatus in response to the identified vulnerabilities; and
a security system memory which contains security information for performing the analysis of the computer apparatus.