by Dennis Crouch
Infernal Tech LLC v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC (E.D.Tex. 2021)
Today’s jury verdict in E.D. Tex. favored the accused infringer Sony. The patentee alleged that Sony’s Spider-Man and God of War games infringed its U.S. Patent Nos. 6,362,822 (claim 1) and 7,061,488 (claims 1, 27, and 50. The jury found, however, that neither game infringed.
The more interesting part of the jury verdict was Question 2 where Judge Gilstrap asked the jury to opine on the factual underpinnings of Alice Step 2. In particular, the jury was asked whether Sony had proven “by clear and convincing evidence that the Asserted Claims only involve technologies and activities that were well-understood, routine, and conventional, from the perspective of a person of ordinary skill in the art, as of [the Filing Date].” The jury sided with the defendant and answered “yes.” The case will next go through some post-verdict motion practice (JNOV/New-Trial) and then will likely be appealed. However, barring some claim construction problem it will be difficult to overcome this non-infringement decision on appeal.
Claim 1 of the ”822: A shadow rendering method for use in a computer system, the method comprising the steps of:
providing observer data of a simulated multi-dimensional scene;
providing lighting data associated with a plurality of simulated light sources arranged to illuminate said scene, said lighting data including light image data;
for each of said plurality of light sources, comparing at least a portion of said observer data with at least a portion of said lighting data to determine if a modeled point within said scene is illuminated by said light source and storing at least a portion of said light image data associated with said point and said light source in a light accumulation buffer; and
then combining at least a portion of said light accumulation buffer with said observer data; and
displaying resulting image data to a computer screen.
The plaintiffs in the case are represented by Buether Joe LLP out of Dallas and the Defendants by Erise IP out of Kansas City.