Rackspace v Rotatable Tech IPR Ruling

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Rackspace v Rotatable Tech IPR Ruling

Text of Rackspace v Rotatable Tech IPR Ruling

  • Trials@uspto.gov Paper 10

    571-272-7822 Entered: October 1, 2013

    UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

    ____________

    BEFORE THE PATENT TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD

    ____________

    RACKSPACE HOSTING, INC.

    Petitioner,

    v.

    ROTATABLE TECHNOLOGIES LLC

    Patent Owner

    Case IPR2013-00248

    Patent 6,326,978

    Before MICHAEL P. TIERNEY, MICHAEL W. KIM, and MIRIAM L. QUINN,

    Administrative Patent Judges.

    KIM, Administrative Patent Judge.

    DECISION

    Institution of Inter Partes Review

    37 C.F.R. 42.108

    tarekfahmiTypewritten TextIPR2013-00248Rackspace v. Rotatable Tech. Rotatable Technologies Ex. 2002

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    I. INTRODUCTION

    Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (Petitioner) filed a petition requesting inter partes

    review of claims 1-18 of U.S. Patent No. 6,326,978 (Ex. 1001, the 978 patent).

    Paper 2, Pet. Rotatable Technologies LLC (Patent Owner) filed a preliminary

    response. Paper 9, Prelim. Resp. We have jurisdiction under 35 U.S.C. 314.

    The standard for instituting an inter partes review is set forth in 35 U.S.C.

    314(a) which provides as follows:

    THRESHOLD -- The Director may not authorize an inter partes

    review to be instituted unless the Director determines that the

    information presented in the petition filed under section 311 and any

    response filed under section 313 shows that there is a reasonable

    likelihood that the petitioner would prevail with respect to at least 1 of

    the claims challenged in the petition.

    Upon consideration of the petition and Patent Owners preliminary response,

    we determine that the information presented by Petitioner has established that there

    is a reasonable likelihood that Petitioner will prevail in showing the unpatentability

    of claims 1-18 of the 978 patent. Accordingly, we grant the petition and institute

    an inter partes review of these claims.

    A. Related Proceedings

    Both Petitioner and Patent Owner indicate that the 978 patent was asserted

    against Petitioner in a co-pending litigation captioned Rotatable Tech., LLC v.

    Petroleum Geo-Services, Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-00177 (E.D. Tex.). Pet. 1; Paper

    8, Related Matters, at 2. Both Petitioner and Patent Owner further indicate that the

    following litigations also involve the 978 patent:

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Acer Am. Corp., 2:12-cv-00263 (E.D. Tex.)

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    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Nokia Inc., 2:12-cv-00265 (E.D. Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Apple Inc., 2:12-cv-00292 (E.D. Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. HTC Am., Inc., 2:12-cv-00718 (E.D. Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Citgo Petroleum Corp., 2:13-cv-00108 (E.D. Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Fossil Inc., 2:13-cv-00109 (E.D. Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Lennox Indus., LLC, 2:13-cv-00110 (E.D. Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. The Variable Annuity Life Insur. Co., 2:13-cv-

    00111 (E.D. Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Burns & McDonnell, Inc., 2:13-cv-00215 (E.D.

    Tex.)

    Rotatable Tech., LLC v. Blastro, Inc., 2:13-cv-00262 (E.D. Tex.)

    (Pet. 1; Prelim. Resp. 2.)

    B. The 978 Patent

    The subject matter of the 978 patent relates to graphical user interfaces

    (GUIs) and display methods for selectively rotating windows on a computer

    display. Ex. 1001, 1:7-10. According to the 978 patent, a typical computer

    system contains a computer, a keyboard, an input device such as a mouse, and a

    display monitor. Ex. 1001, 1:21-23. An operating system and application

    programs running on the computer generate GUIs that are displayed on the display

    monitor or screen. Ex. 1001, 1:28-31. These GUIs are referred to commonly as

    windows. Ex. 1001, 1:31. The screen may contain one window or multiple

    windows, depending on the circumstances and user preferences. Ex. 1001, 1:31-

    33. A window typically includes a frame and a display portion surrounded by the

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    frame. Ex. 1001, 1:34-35.

    With advancements of computer processing speeds, an average computer

    now has the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, or to multi-task.

    Ex. 1001, 1:66-2:1. At least one window is associated with each task being

    performed, and sometimes multiple windows are associated. Ex. 1001, 2:2-3.

    These windows are often displayed one on top of the other. Ex. 1001, 2:4.

    Unfortunately, management of the various windows can become cumbersome.

    Ex. 1001, 2:5-6. This is especially true if a user needs or desires to see a portion of

    one window or all of the multiple windows at the same time. Ex. 1001, 2:6-8.

    The user may receive information in a window that is not oriented as the

    user needs or desires, for example, so as to arrange more efficiently the multiple

    windows. Ex. 1001, 2:13-15. Depending on the program, the user may not be able

    to reorient the information for proper or desired viewing. Ex. 1001, 2:15-17.

    According to the 978 patent, therefore, a need exists for a display method for

    selectively rotating windows on a computer display, such that the user may

    experience greater interface flexibility. Ex. 1001, 2:18-22. A system employing

    such a display method would operate by providing a mechanism for the user

    selectively to rotate the windows as needed or desired, thus providing the user with

    a more manageable computer interface. Ex. 1001, 2:22-26.

    To that end, Figure 1 of the 978 patent, shown below, depicts a window 10

    for the computer display that provides selective rotation in a manner that facilitates

    human interfacing. Ex. 1001, 2:57-59.

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    Figure 1 illustrates a schematic of a window for a computer display

    that provides selective rotation in a manner which facilitates human

    interfacing.

    Window 10, depicted above in Figure 1, is generated by a program running on the

    computer, such as the operating system or the application program. Ex. 1001,

    2:59-61. In the lower left hand corner of window 10 is rotation button 28.

    Ex. 1001, 3:39-40. To rotate window 10, the user clicks and holds rotation button

    28 with the input device (e.g., a mouse) while dragging window 10 to a selected

    orientation, which is depicted in the example shown below in Figure 2. Ex. 1001,

    1:21-23, 3:42-44.

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    Figure 2 illustrates a schematic of a window for a computer display

    that has been rotated approximately 310 degrees and that shows

    potential preselected rotation points.

    During the rotation, window 10 rotates about a rotation point, an example of which

    is shown above in Figure 2 as rotation point 30. Ex. 1001, 3:44-46, 4:22-24. By

    clicking and holding rotation button 28, the user may choose any orientation within

    the 360 degree circle or the choices may be limited to certain preselected

    orientations such as 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees. Ex. 1001, 3:46-50.

    C. Exemplary Claims

    Of the challenged claims, claims 1, 9, and 14 are independent claims, and

    provide as follows:

    1. A computer display window comprising:

    a display portion;

    a frame surrounding the display portion; and

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    means for selectively rotating the window about a rotation point

    at the discretion of the user;

    wherein the plane of the window, the plane of rotation, and the

    rotation point are coplanar.

    9. A method of selectively rotating a computer display

    window having a display portion and a frame surrounding the display

    portion, the method comprising the steps of:

    determining a rotation point; and

    rotating the window about the rotation point at the discretion of

    the user;

    wherein the plane of the window, the plane of rotation, and the

    rotation point are coplanar.

    14. A system for selectively rotating a computer display

    window having a display portion and a frame surrounding the display

    portion, the system comprising:

    means for determining a rotation point; and

    means for rotating the window about the rotation point at the

    discretion of the user;

    wherein the plane of the window, the plane of rotation, and the

    rotation point are coplanar.

    D. Prior Art Relied Upon

    Petitioner relies upon the following prior art references:

    Bruder U.S. Patent 6,327,393 Dec. 4, 2001 (Ex. 1003)

    Kreegar U.S. Patent 5,396,590 Mar. 7, 1995 (Ex. 1004)

    Takano U.S. Patent 5,045,844 Sep. 3, 1991 (Ex. 1005)

    Martinez U.S. Patent 6,137,468 Oct. 24, 2000 (Ex. 1006)

    Capps U.S. Patent 5,345,543 Sep. 6, 1994 (Ex. 1007)

    Adobe Photoshop 5.0 User Guide (Adobe) (Ex. 1008)

    Petitioner also relies on the Declaration of Don Turnbull (Ex. 1009).

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    E. The Asserted Grounds

    Petitioner contends that the challenged claims are unpatentable based on the

    following grounds:

    Reference(s) Basis Claims

    Challenged

    Martinez and Capps 103(a) 1-4, 6-9, 11-14, 16, and 18

    Martinez, Capps, and Adobe 103(a) 5, 10, 15, and 17

    Bruder 102(e) 1, 2, 4, 6,