Narrowing the Disclaimer Doctrine: Federal Circuit Cabins the Reach of Disclaimers in the IPR Context | Haug Partners LLP


The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed three Inter Partes Review (IPR) final written decisions of the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) where the Board concluded that petitioner, Trend Micro. Inc. (“Trend”), had shown the challenged patent claims in patentee, Cupp Computing AS’s (“Cupp”), U.S. Patents Nos. 8,631,488 (“’488 patent”), 9,106,683 (“’683 patent”), and 9,843,595 (“’595 patent”), unpatentable as obvious over two prior art references.1 Setting a new precedent with respect to claim construction, the Federal Circuit held that although a patentee’s clear and unmistakable disavowals of claim scope during an IPR proceeding can narrow the scope of the claims, such a statement serves to narrow the claims only in subsequent proceedings—not in the IPR proceeding during which the statement is made.2

Cupp contended that the PTAB erred when it rejected Cupp’s disclaimers in the IPR.3 The Board did not find this argument persuasive and concluded that it could ignore the patentee’s disavowal in construing the claims.4 The Federal Circuit agreed with the Board.5

I. Introduction

Each of the three patents at issue share a common name and priority date and address the problem of malicious attacks aimed at mobile devices.6 The patents concern methods for waking a mobile device from a power-saving mode and then performing security operations on the device, “such as scanning a storage medium for malware, or updating security applications.”7

The issue on appeal to the Board’s determination related to the precedential decision is one of claim construction.8 Specifically, each independent claim in the three patents includes the limitation “the mobile device having a mobile device processor different than the mobile security system processor.”9

II. Background

In March 2019 Trend petitioned the Board for an IPR of several claims in each of the ’488, ’683, and ’595 patents arguing that the claims were unpatentable as obvious.10 Trend presented two pieces of prior art contending that either could be individually relied upon to show the challenged claims would have been…


‘Only matter of time before lives are lost’

Another fire in another long-time vacant building in Cork City has prompted fresh calls for a joint Garda-council approach to tackle vacancy and dereliction.

There are also warnings that it is only a matter of time before lives are lost.

It has also been established that the owners of vacant or derelict properties where fires break out are not billed for the cost of extinguishing the fire — the cost falls on the taxpayer as part of the routine funding of the fire service.

It follows the latest blaze in an old vacant office building on Cork’s south docks in November, which had been secured, emptied of anything of salvageable value, and in an area which was being patrolled by security contractors.

Five units of the Cork CIty Fire Brigade responded to the blaze in the former R+H Hall offices. Picture: Cork City Fire Brigade Twitter
Five units of the Cork CIty Fire Brigade responded to the blaze in the former R+H Hall offices. Picture: Cork City Fire Brigade Twitter

Sinn Féin TD Thomas Gould, who has seen several vacant homes in his constituency damaged by suspicious fires, has now written to city council officials, calling for an urgent meeting between the local authority, gardaí and the fire service to address the issue.

“I am very concerned that a failure to secure these sites, and indeed their vacancy, is adding to the pressure of the emergency services and ultimately putting lives at risk,” he said.

“I am formally requesting that Cork City Council convene a meeting with An Garda Síochána and the fire brigade to identify potentially dangerous derelict sites and put in place an action plan to quickly secure these but also to resolve dangerous dereliction across Cork City.” 

Mr Gould also pointed out that the estimated €3m owed in outstanding derelict sites levies could, if collected, be used to acquire some of these what are in many cases dangerous sites through compulsory purchase order powers, in the hope to transform them.

Suspected arson

It comes as gardaí continue their investigation into the latest fire in a vacant property in the city, which is believed to have been started deliberately.

While in some cases, the fires have been started by people who gain unauthorised access to the properties in a bid to find shelter and keep warm, in other cases, arson is suspected.

Just after 2am on Wednesday,…


FMI uncovers massive growth of IoT network management market

According to the IoT network management industry analysis by Future Market Insights (FMI), the demand registered in the IoT network management market will grow at a noteworthy CAGR of around 23.3% from 2022-2032.

The report states that the market is expected to reach a valuation of US$ 5.1 billion by the end of 2022.

According to the researchers, IoT networks are rapidly expanding across the globe, allowing businesses, and industries to control and/or monitor a broad range of smart gadgets. With any network technology, speed and responsiveness are crucial for accurate and dependable IoT device performance.

IoT networks, on the other hand, have a variety of network performance issues due to the presence of heterogeneous and resource-constrained devices communicating through error-prone radio channels and frequently deployed in hostile environments.

The Internet of Things (IoT) tangibly solves significant business problems in a variety of industries. Healthcare, smart cities, building management, utilities, transportation, and manufacturing are among the early users of this technology, attesting to its numerous advantages.

However, the number of threats and cyber attacks directed at IoT devices and networks is on the rise in both number and complexity. Attacks like IoT botnets, DNS threats, IoT ransomware, IoT physical security, and shadow IoT are on the rise in IoT devices, connected software, and network connections.

Combining IoT solutions with edge processing technology supports minimising the vulnerabilities as edge security helps in protecting users and sensitive data. Therefore, there is an increased need to secure the devices and network, and use them to strengthen network security. As a result, enterprises are deploying IoT network management solutions to protect devices against new security threats, the researchers state.

“Different functionalities of IoT network management help to maintain network performance. Increasing adoption of IoT network management platforms across large enterprises will augment the growth in the market over the forecast period,” says an FMI analyst.

Key takeaways include the following:

  • By solution, demand in the network…


Check your Android phone immediately and delete these popular apps now

Android phone users have been hit by yet another worrying warning that could leave personal details in the hands of hackers. Security experts at Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center (CyRC) have discovered three popular applications that appear to have a serious flaw which could allow online crooks to gain full access to vital data such as user names and passwords.

The apps, which are all available via the Google Play Store, have been downloaded over two million times which is why this latest news is so serious.

All of the software included in the warning offers the ability to transform Android phones into remote keyboards or a mouse for PCs. It’s that handy functionally which is why the applications have proven to be so popular.

However, CyRC says its research has uncovered weak or missing authentication mechanisms and insecure communication vulnerabilities in all three of the apps. This means they could be easy to exploit with hackers then able to use the apps to eavesdrop on keystrokes and see exactly what people are inputting, such as passwords, on their PCs.

It’s a pretty scary flaw and here is the full list of apps affected

• Telepad versions 1.0.7 and prior

• PC Keyboard versions 30 and prior

• Lazy Mouse versions 2.0.1 and prior

READ MORE: Google bans another popular Android app and all UK phone owners must delete it now

Although the developers don’t appear to have meant to have released anything malicious the applications remain vulnerable even though they have been warned about the problems.

CyRC has confirmed that it has reached out to the creators of the apps multiple times but has not received a response.

It appears that all three of the applications remain widely used but they are neither maintained nor supported, and evidently, security was not a factor when these applications were developed.

If you think you have them on your Android phone and are worried but the lack of security, CyRC is recommending you remove them immediately.

Speaking about the threat, Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center (CyRC) said: “We have exposed multiple vulnerabilities in three applications that enable an Android device to be used as a remote keyboard and mouse for their computers.