In ATEN International Co, Ltd. v. Uniclass Technology Co., Ltd., No. 2018-1606 (Fed. Cir. August 6, 2019), the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of JMOL as to invalidity and affirmed with respect to noninfringement.

ATEN’s two asserted patents related to switch systems that allowed a user to control multiple computers from a single keyboard, video device, and mouse.   The jury found that one asserted patent was anticipated based on two references—one of ATEN’s previous products and a British patent—but did not specify if either reference or both formed the basis for their decision. The jury also found that Uniclass did not infringe any asserted claims. At trial, ATEN moved for JMOL as to invalidity and infringement. The district court denied the motion.

The Federal Circuit reversed as to invalidity, holding that the standard of proof had not been met to show that either prior art reference invalidated the asserted patent. Specifically, Uniclass’s expert testified that ATEN’s product existed in “2006” but did not testify if the product existed prior to the critical date of July 24, 2006. Furthermore, the British patent could not be an anticipatory reference because it did not disclose every element of the asserted claims. Finally, the court found that the testimony of Uniclass’s expert, which the jury relied on in it’s finding of noninfringement, improperly included claim construction testimony but that ATEN failed to preserve this issue by not timely objecting.

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