CAFC Affirms Summary Judgment Decision in D. Del. Business-Intelligence Software Case
On Monday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of former Delaware district judge Kent A. Jordan that granted summary judgment of noninfringment and invalidity. After construing the claims of Plaintiff Microstrategy's three software patents, the district court found that Business Objects did not infringe one and that the other two were invalid for indefiniteness and anticipation, respectively. The Federal Circuit agreed on all counts, holding that the district court properly relied on the summary of the invention and certain reexamination statements to bolster its noninfringement decision.
The Court also concurred on the invalidity decision, noting that because the district court could have interpreted a textual error in one of the patents in several ways, the patent was indefinite as a matter of law.
On anticipation, the Court rejected Microstrategy's argument that the district court improperly relied on a series of manuals as a single prior art reference:
"The recitation of the applicable law [in the summary judgment briefing] . . . does not prevent the waiver of an argument unless that recitation is accompanied by an explanation of how the law applies to the facts of the particular case. Not only did Microstrategy fail to provide such an explanation, but it also failed to challenge Business Objects' statement that the manuals relied upon 'constitute a single prior art disclosure.' " ( slip. op at 8 )
Because Microstrategy did not explicitly identify the issue of multiplicity at the summary judgment stage, it could not object to the district court's anticipation methodology on appeal.
Read the district court opinion: Microstrategy Inc. v. Business Objects Americas, C.A. No. 03-1124-KAJ (D. Del. Jan. 23, 2006) (Jordan, J.).