ClearOne has announced that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a judgment last week affirming a January 2019 decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) confirming the patentability of all claims of US Patent No. 9,264,553 (the ’553 Patent). The ’553 Patent covers aspects of ClearOne’s technology in beamforming microphone arrays (BMAs). Shure challenged the validity of the ’553 Patent through the inter partes review process in the PTO after ClearOne accused Shure of infringing multiple ClearOne patents covering fundamental BMA technology.
“After a one-year, in-depth trial, the PTAB rejected Shure’s arguments and agreed with ClearOne that the ’553 Patent was valid,” ClearOne Chair and CEO Zee Hakimoglu said. “Shure asked the PTAB to reconsider, but…the PTAB only explained Shure’s errors in even greater detail. Shure then appealed to the Federal Circuit, which promptly affirmed the PTAB’s decision just two days after the case was argued in Washington, DC.”
“This is another significant victory for ClearOne,” Hakimoglu added. “Last year, ClearOne obtained a preliminary injunction against Shure after demonstrating that Shure was likely infringing a different ClearOne patent, and the Federal Circuit’s decision puts ClearOne in an even better position as we prepare for trial.”
Sound & Communications reached out to a representative for Shure, who commented, “While we respectfully disagree with the court’s decision, this ruling is a routine step in the litigation and does not change much. This ruling will not affect Shure customers. It has no effect on the availability of our products, including the MXA910A.”
The representative continued, “To be clear, this is not a ruling on infringement of any kind. Rather, in affirming the PTAB’s decision that ClearOne’s ’553 patent is not invalid, the court simply found that it had insufficient evidence to rule that the ’533 patent is invalid, so it presumed validity.”
According to the representative, this decision means little for the rest of the ongoing litigation. “We continue to believe—and will be arguing at trial—that the ’553 patent is invalid and, more importantly, that we do not infringe it,” the representative added. “We remain confident that Shure’s products do not infringe any patents held by ClearOne.”
The case number at the Federal Circuit is 2019-1755. At the PTAB, it was IPR2017- 01785.