2017年4月20日 星期四

有否專利標示或告知會影響賠償計算 - Rembrandt Wireless v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. 2017)

專利侵權成立的賠償金額常常是依據原告因為侵權行為造成的損害而定,然而,專利法規會要求具有專利權的人在專利產品上標示(marking)專利相關資訊,以有效通知可能會侵權的人將來會面對的風險,如果缺乏標示,侵權仍可能成立,但是賠償計算將會被折損

本篇討論有否專利標示(patent marking)或告知(constructive notice)會影響賠償計算 - Rembrandt Wireless v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. 2017)

案件資訊:
原告/被上訴人:REMBRANDT WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES, LP
被告/上訴人:SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD., etc.
被告:SAMSUNG AUSTIN SEMICONDUCTOR, L.L.C., RESEARCH IN MOTION CORPORATION, RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD.
系爭專利:US 8,023,580 and US 8,457,228

本案緣起原告Rembrandt於2013年對Samsung提出侵權告訴,被告產品為Samsung產品中的藍芽技術,東德州地方法院判決專利有效且侵權成立,並判Samsung應賠償1千5百萬美元,經地院否決Samsung提出的請願後,Samsung上訴CAFC。

值得一提的是,在Samsung的請願(motion)議題之一的「專利標示」,地院否決此請願,但CAFC只對此議題提出不同意見。

Samsung提出的上訴議題如下,其中並未對侵權成立議題上訴,而是轉向專利權與法律議題,這裡討論產品的「專利標示」議題:


系爭專利'580與'228為同一家族的專利,關於具有兩個調變機制的通訊裝置,裝置中設有主從收發器,主從收發器彼此可以不同調變方法傳送資訊,以適應目的端的負載。


侵權成立與賠償計算的依據之一是'580的Claim 40:

40. A device that transmits in accordance with a first modulation method and a second modulation method that is different than the first modulation method, said device comprising;
at least one modulator;
a transceiver that includes the at least one modulator, wherein the transceiver is configured to transmit:
a first sequence, modulated in accordance with the first modulation method, that indicates an impending change from the first modulation method to the second modulation method, and
a second sequence, in accordance with the second modulation method, that is transmitted at a time after the first sequence.

CAFC階段:

議題一:解釋申請專利範圍,CAFC同意地院對請求項中不同調變形式的解釋:"We therefore agree with the construction entered by the district court that the term “modulation method of a different type” means “different families of modulation techniques, such as the FSK family of modulation methods and the QAM family of modulation methods.”"

議題二:涉及顯而易見性的爭議,還確認了"獨立項非顯而易見,表示附屬項也具非顯而易知性"的一般原則:

"Therefore, because Upender strongly suggests that master/slave is inferior to CSMA/CA, substantial evidence supports the jury’s presumed factual finding that one of skill in the art would not have been motivated to combine Boer with Upender’s teaching of master/slave."

"(“Dependent claims are nonobvious under section 103 if the independent claims from which they depend are nonobvious.”). We therefore affirm the district court’s denial of JMOL that the infringed claims are invalid as obvious."

議題三:對於損害賠償金額1千5百萬美元,法院否決Samsung對原告提出專家證詞等實質證據的質疑,但卻同意撤回Samsung主張因為缺乏「專利標示」的基礎而計算的賠償金額。

議題四:有關專利標示,涉及法條為35 U.S.C. § 287

35 U.S.C. § 287內容可參考:https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/287

法律要求專利權人要對公眾告知相關產品的專利標示,如果沒有標示,將限定損害賠償

有沒有收到專利通知會影響賠償判斷。


CAFC重申最高法院反覆強調的觀念:專利標示保護公眾能夠在沒有損害風險下利用未標示專利權的產品的技術,除非專利權人建設性地透過專利標示告知公眾

"The marking statute protects the public’s ability to exploit an unmarked product’s features without liability for damages until a patentee provides either constructive notice through marking or actual notice."


給有實施專利權的專利權人的一課:
"The essence of “the marking statute is to encourage the patentee to give notice to the public of the patent.”"

"More specifically, “the marking statute serves three related purposes: 
1) helping to avoid innocent infringement
2) encouraging patentees to give notice to the public that the article is patented; and
3) aiding the public to identify whether an article is patented.”"

如此,被告Samsung策略成功,專利權人Rembrandt雖在侵權議題上勝訴,並作出一些免責聲明卻不能回溯,因此卻仍需要再打一仗。

my two cents:
本篇判決重申了專利標示(patent marking)的重要性,也就是專利權人不能隱藏所擁有的專利權,應該積極地在產品上標示專利權,"善意"保護公眾,也保護自己的利益。

如果照此原則,沒有實施專利權的Patent Troll沒地方marking,應不會有不合理的賠償金額,Patent Troll只是依賴被告不想進入訴訟的心理而生存。

「專利標示」的目的至少包括避免有"無辜"侵權者、幫助公眾理解哪些產品具有專利權。
1) helping to avoid innocent infringement
2) encouraging patentees to give notice to the public that the article is patented; and
3) aiding the public to identify whether an article is patented.”"

CAFC判決:
http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/16-1729.Opinion.4-13-2017.1.PDF
(備份:https://app.box.com/s/uyh6jolbr8ztebmng8zfgg0dqm0iwui8

資料參考:
https://patentlyo.com/patent/2017/04/licensee-marking-requirement.html

Ron

沒有留言: