from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent
Trial and Appeal Board in No. IPR2017-01082.
J. Zito, DNL ZITO, Washington, DC, argued for appellant. Also
represented by Richard Arthur Castellano.
Batts, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Palo Alto,
CA, argued for all appellees. Appellee War-gaming Group
Limited also represented by Christopher Scott Ponder, Jeffrey
A. Israel, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP, Houston, TX, for
appellee Activision Blizzard Inc. Also represented by Tanya
L. Chaney, David Morehan; John D. Garretson, Kansas City, MO.
Dyk, Plager, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.
and Technology Co. (GAT) appeals the final written decision
of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, ruling that institution
of inter partes review was not barred under 35 U.S.C. §
315(b) and that claims 1-7 of U.S. Patent No. 7, 682, 243
would have been obvious over the asserted prior art. Under
the facts of this case, and as argued by the parties, the
Board did not err in holding that petitioner Wargaming Group
Ltd. was not properly "served with a complaint alleging
infringement of the ['243] patent" more than one
year before it filed its IPR petition. Accordingly, the IPR
was not barred under § 315(b). Because substantial
evidence supports the Board's determination that claims
1-7 of the '243 patent would have been obvious over the
asserted prior art, we affirm.
'243 patent discloses a "method and system for
providing an online game, in which ability information of a
unit associated with a pilot is enabled to change as ability
information of the pilot changes." '243 patent col.
1 ll. 20- 25. The '243 patent admits that in the prior
art, a gamer could control both a player character and a
unit, but asserts that the player character and the unit
would operate independently of one another. Id. at
col. 1 ll. 37-48. Because they were independent, any increase
in the ability of the player character would not translate to
the unit, and vice versa. Id. at col. 1 ll. 48-55.
The lack of a direct connection between the player character
and its associated unit would decrease gamer convenience and
interest in the game. Id. at col. 1 ll. 54-60.
'243 patent proposes to solve this problem by creating a
system in which "a pilot and unit information associated
with the pilot interoperate." Id. at col. 2 ll.
6-9. In one embodiment, a "sync point" of 0.8
represents the ratio by which a unit's "attack
power" increases in response to a corresponding increase
in the pilot's "brave points." Id. at
col. 7 l. 63-col. 8 l. 1. Thus, if a pilot's brave points
increase by ten, the attack power of its associated unit
would increase by eight. Id. at col. 8 ll. 1-19.
specification expressly defines both "pilot" and
1) Pilot. A pilot used in the present specification is a
player character representing a gamer who imports his/her
feelings in a game to continue the game. The gamer may
control motions of a unit through the pilot.
2) Unit. A unit used in the present specification is an
object operated by a control of a gamer, and the unit may be
an object for continuing a game substantially, for example, a
robot character. The unit may be a target for the gamer to
import his/her feelings. Also, a concept of item belonging to
the gamer may be applied to the unit.
Id. at col. 3 ll. 6-17. The specification also
states that "the present invention may further include .
. . a pet unit that accompanies a robot unit as another unit
of the pilot, and helps a game progress." Id.
at col. 7 ll. 14-16. The ability information of the pet unit
"may also interoperate with change of ability
information of the pilot and change." Id. at
col. 7 ll. 17-20.
1-7 are at issue on appeal. Claim 1 is illustrative of the
independent claims, including independent claims 6 and 7, and
1. An online game providing [a] method for providing a pilot
and a unit associated with the pilot at an online game, the
method comprising the steps of:
controlling an online game such that a player can manipulate
a pilot and a unit associated with said pilot, said pilot
being a game character operated by a player, said pilot
representing the player, said unit being a virtual object
controlled by the player;
maintaining a unit information database, the unit information
database recording unit information on said unit, in which
the unit information includes ability of said unit and sync
maintaining a pilot information database, the pilot
information database recording pilot information on said
pilot, in which the pilot information includes a unit
identifier indicating said unit associated with said pilot,
ability of said ...