Federal Circuit Holds Adequate Notice of PTAB's Claim Construction Provided Through Oral Hearing

| Lindsay LaddaranKendall Loebbaka

TQ Delta LLC v. Dish Network LLC

Before: Newman, Linn, and Wallach. Appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Summary: The rights of parties in an IPR are not violated when the PTAB provides adequate notice of the PTAB’s understanding of the claim construction during the oral hearing.

Dish Network ("Dish") petitioned for inter partes review of a patent owned by TQ Delta, LLC ("TQ Delta") which describes a method to manage the power of a transceiver in sleep mode and to wake up the transceiver from sleep mode. The PTAB found the claims were obvious. TQ Delta appealed, arguing in part that the PTAB violated its rights by changing course to a new claim construction in the Final Written Decision. 

The Federal Circuit found that the PTAB did not violate TQ Delta's rights.  The Federal Circuit determined that the PTAB did not “change course” because the PTAB did not construe the term in its Decision to Institute. Additionally, the Federal Circuit found that TQ Delta had notice of the PTAB's interpretation of the term from the PTAB's questions during the Oral Hearing, where it was given the opportunity to respond.  The Federal Circuit also affirmed the PTAB's claim construction, finding support for the PTAB’s construction in the surrounding claims and specification. The Federal Circuit further affirmed the PTAB's finding of obviousness.

Editor: Paul Stewart