Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Parkervision, Inc. v. Qualcomm Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

September 13, 2018

PARKERVISION, INC., Appellant
v.
QUALCOMM INCORPORATED, QUALCOMM ATHEROS, INC.

          Appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. IPR2015-01828, IPR2015-01829, IPR2015-01831.

          William Meunier, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glov-sky and Popeo, P.C., Boston, MA, argued for appellant. Also represented by Sandra Badin, Michael Newman, Michael Timothy Renaud.

          Eamonn Gardner, Cooley LLP, San Diego, CA, argued for cross-appellants. Also represented by Orion Armon, Broomfield, CO; Matthew J. Brigham, Dena Chen, Palo Alto, CA.

          Before O'Malley, Reyna, and Taranto, Circuit Judges.

          O'Malley, Circuit Judge.

         ParkerVision, Inc. ("ParkerVision") appeals from three final written decisions of the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("Board") in related inter partes review proceedings, in which the Board held certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 6, 091, 940 ("the '940 patent") unpatentable as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a).[1] Qualcomm Inc. and Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. (together, "Qualcomm") cross-appeal from the Board's determination that Qualcomm failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that certain other claims of the '940 patent are unpatentable. We affirm.

         I. Background

         A. The '940 Patent

         ParkerVision owns the '940 patent, titled "Method and System for Frequency Up-Conversion." The inventions of the '940 patent generally relate to telecommunications devices, such as cellular phones, in which low-frequency electromagnetic signals are "up-converted" to higher-frequency signals by various means. '940 patent, col. 1, ll. 23-24; id. col. 1, ll. 46-48. "Baseband" signals- electromagnetic signals that encode the relevant information of sound waves-have low frequencies, and therefore low energy, making them difficult to transmit wirelessly through the air. Up-converting these frequencies to higher-frequency signals, such as radio frequency ("RF") signals, allows the signal-and, critically, the information contained therein-to be more efficiently transmitted to a receiver. Id. col. 13, l. 53-col. 14, l. 6.

         The specification explains that prior art transmitter systems used up-conversion components that are costly, both in terms of power consumption and purchase price. The invention disclosed in the '940 patent purports to "provide[] a more efficient means for producing a modulated carrier for transmission [that] uses less power, and requires fewer components." Id. col. 14, ll. 4-8. The embodiments at issue in this appeal allegedly accomplish this goal by modulating the amplitude of the baseband signal with the help of an "oscillating signal." See, e.g., id. col. 1, l. 58-col. 2, l. 5. This signal causes one or more "switches" to "gate" the baseband signal and generate a combined periodic signal that has a modulated amplitude compared to the baseband signal. Id.

         Although this method is known as "amplitude modulation," one byproduct is the creation of "harmonics," which the specification defines in the singular as "a frequency or tone that, when compared to its fundamental or reference frequency or tone, is an integer multiple of it." Id. col. 8, ll. 22-24.[2] Unwanted harmonics are subsequently filtered out, after which the resulting signal is transmitted to other devices. Id. col. 16, ll. 39-48.

         Both apparatus and method claims are relevant to this appeal. Claim 21, which is representative of the apparatus claims, recites:

21. An apparatus for frequency up-conversion, comprising:
a pulse shaping module to receive an oscillating signal and to output a shaped string of pulses that is a function of said oscillating signal;
a switch module to receive said shaped string of pulses and a bias signal, wherein said shaped string of pulses causes said switch module to gate said bias signal and thereby generate a periodic signal having a plurality of harmonics, said bias signal being a function of an information signal, said periodic signal having an amplitude that is a function of said bias signal; and
a filter coupled to said switch module to isolate one or more desired harmonics of said plurality of harmonics.
Id. col. 69, ll. 19-32 (emphases added). Claim 25, which is representative of the method ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.