November 18, 2013

Copyright Notice without Day and Month Insufficient to Establish Reference as Prior Art

By Matthew L. Cutler, Principal

In a concise decision, iOnRoad was able to get three challenged claims of a Mobileye Technologies patent into a trial for inter partes review in a case styled as iOnRoad, Ltd. v. Mobileye Techs., Ltd. (IPR2013-00227), involving U.S. Pat. No. 6,704,621.

The ‘621 patent relates to “estimating ego-motion (i.e., self-motion) of a moving vehicle, which is an important component in autonomous driving and computer vision-based driving assistance. Further, the ‘621 patent discloses the use of information obtained from successive images of an on-board camera along with other information, such as the vehicle’s speed, to determine the ego-motion of the vehicle.

Despite the fact that the Board did not adopt the two proposed claim construction positions from Petitioner, the Board went on to find that several grounds for anticipation and/or obviousness met the reasonable likelihood standard. In general, this was a straightforward analysis that does not bear repeating here.

Interesting in this analysis, though, was one of the prior art references, which contained a copyright date of 1999 – but without the day or month. Because the earliest priority date of the ’621 patent was November 26, 1999, Petitioner failed to demonstrate that the prior art was definitively published prior to the critical date. Order at 15-16.

Other than this snippet relating to the eligibility of a prior art reference, the Board’s decision is concise and without major issue. All three challenged claims were placed into the IPR trial by the Board.