In the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, the Court granted Apple’s motion to strike Uniloc’s infringement contentions because plaintiff failed to sufficiently identify the accused instrumentalities.  According to Judge Alsup, Uniloc “merely asserts in a footnote for each claim chart that the dozens of accused products ‘operate in substantially the same manner with respect to the accused functionality.'”

The case for infringement is part of a larger group of assertions by Uniloc against Apple which include U.S. Patents 7,092,671; 6,662,018; 6,161,134; 6,446,127; and 6,216,158. This case, transferred to San Francisco in January of this year from the Eastern District of Texas asserts infringement of the ‘671 patent relating to an automated telephone dialing system.

The first claim is reproduced below:

1. An automated telephone dialing system, comprising:

a telephone having a wireless port for short range wireless data transfer; and
a handheld computer system having a wireless port for communication with the wireless port on the telephone, wherein a specific telephone number is selectable from a list displayed on the handheld computer system and wherein the handheld computer system is operable to transfer the specific telephone number to the telephone using a wireless communication, and wherein the handheld computer system is configured to control the telephone via the wireless communication such that the telephone dials the specific telephone number.

Uniloc’s identification of accused instrumentalities deemed insufficient “⁠[I]n order to rely on a claim that one accused product represents another for purposes of Rule 3–1(c), a patentee must do more than state as much. A patentee must state how.”

In siding with Apple the court agreed that Uniloc’s “broad categorical identifications and improper use of open-ended language (‘e.g.’) should be stricken, and [its] allegations should be limited to the products specifically identified.”


Jason Bourgeois
IP Portfolio Manager

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