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Eon Corp. Ip Holdings LLC v. AT& T Mobility LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

May 6, 2015

EON CORP. IP HOLDINGS LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
AT& T MOBILITY LLC, Defendant-Appellee; EON CORP. IP HOLDINGS LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
FLO TV INCORPORATED, Defendant-Appellee, MOBITV INC., Defendant-Appellee, U.S. CELLULAR CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellee, SPRINT NEXTEL CORPORATION, HTC AMERICA INC., QUALCOMM, INC., SIMPLEXITY, LLC, D/B/A WIREFLY, MOTOROLA MOBILITY LLC, Defendants-Appellees, LETSTALK.COM INC., Defendant

Page 617

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 618

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware in Nos. 1:13-cv-00910-RGA, 1:10-cv-00812-RGA, Judge Richard G. Andrews.

JOHN L. HENDRICKS, Reed & Scardino LLP, Austin, TX, argued for plaintiff-appellant. Also represented by DANIEL ROBINSON SCARDINO, JOHN MATTHEW MURRELL.

DIANA SANGALLI, Duane Morris LLP, Houston, TX, argued for defendant-appellee AT& T Mobility LLC. Also represented by THOMAS W. SANKEY; JOSEPH POWERS, Philadelphia, PA; KRISTINA CAGGIANO KELLY, Washington, DC; JACK B. BLUMENFELD, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, DE.

HARRISON J. FRAHN, IV, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, Palo Alto, CA, argued for all defendants-appellees in 2014-1393. Defendants-appellees FLO TV Incorporated, Qualcomm, Inc. also represented by JEFFREY ERIC OSTROW, JEFFREY E. DANLEY, PATRICK E. KING; VICTOR COLE, New York, NY.

DARALYN JEANNINE DURIE, Durie Tangri LLP, San Francisco, CA, for defendant-appellee MobiTV Inc. Also represented by LAURA MILLER.

RICHARD JOHN O'BRIEN, Sidley Austin LLP, Chicago, IL, for defendant-appellee U.S. Cellular Corporation. Also represented by ROBERT D. LEIGHTON; RYAN C. MORRIS, Washington, DC.

KAREN ANN JACOBS, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, DE, for defendants-appellees Sprint Nextel Corporation, Simplexity, LLC, d/b/a Wirefly. Sprint Nextel Corporation also represented by MEGAN E. DELLINGER, JENNIFER YING.

HEIDI LYN KEEFE, Cooley LLP, Palo Alto, CA, for defendant-appellee HTC America Inc. Also represented by LAM K. NGUYEN, MARK R. WEINSTEIN, KYLE DAKAI CHEN.

STEVEN MOORE, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, San Francisco, CA, for defendant-appellee Motorola Mobility LLC. Also represented by FREDERICK LEE WHITMER, New York, NY; CHRISTOPHER SCHENCK, Seattle, WA; CARL ELLIOTT SANDERS, Winston-Salem, NC.

Before PROST, Chief Judge, NEWMAN and BRYSON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 619

Prost, Chief Judge.

In these consolidated cases, EON Corp. IP Holdings LLC (" EON" ) asserts U.S. Patent No. 5,663,757 (" '757 patent" ) against a number of defendants. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding all claims of the '757 patent invalid as indefinite. In particular, the district court found that the specification failed to disclose an algorithm to provide structure for various computer-implemented means-plus-function elements. On appeal, we affirm.

I. Background

The asserted '757 patent, which issued on September 2, 1997, is directed to software embodied in a " local subscriber data processing station" that operates in tandem with a television to interconnect various interactive features of the television. The software allows actions such as " impulse purchase transactions with immediate payment," audience participation voting, and sorting television programs by theme. '757 patent col. 2 l. 65. EON alleges that " the modern iteration of the '757 Patent's local subscriber data processing station is a smartphone with certain capabilities." Appellant's Br. 5-6.

Consequently, on September 23, 2010, EON filed an action against seventeen defendants, including smartphone manufacturers, cellular network providers, and smartphone content providers (" the FLO TV case" ). Nine months later, on June 14, 2011, EON sued several other defendants in a separate action (" the AT& T case" ...


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