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Triton Tech of Texas, LLC v. Nintendo of America, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

June 13, 2014

TRITON TECH OF TEXAS, LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
NINTENDO OF AMERICA, INC., Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in No. 13-CV-0157, Judge Richard A. Jones.

JAMES F. MCDONOUGH, III, Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC, of Atlanta, Georgia, argued for plaintiff-appellant. With him on the brief were JACQUELINE KNAPP BURT; and TIMOTHY C. DAVIS, of Birmingham, Alabama.

GRANT KINSEL, Perkins Coie, LLP, of Los Angeles, California, argued for defendant-appellee. With him on the brief were JOSEPH HAMILTON, of Los Angeles, California; JONATHAN L. MCFARLAND, of Seattle, Washington; and DAN L. BAGATELL, of Phoenix, Arizona.

Before MOORE, REYNA, and HUGHES, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1376

Moore, Circuit Judge

Triton Tech of Texas, LLC (" Triton" ) appeals from the district court's judgment that the means-plus-function term " integrator means" renders the asserted claims of Triton's U.S. Patent No. 5,181,181 invalid for indefiniteness. We affirm .

Background

Triton sued Nintendo of America, Inc. (" Nintendo" ), alleging that the Wii RemoteTM used in combination with a related accessory infringes the '181 patent. The '181 patent is directed to an input device for a computer. '181 patent col. 1 ll. 9-10.

Page 1377

It discloses that a user can communicate with a computer by moving the input device--much like using a mouse, but in three dimensions. Id. col. 2 ll. 50-67. The input device sends commands to the computer based on the input device's three-dimensional position, attitude (i.e., orientation), and motion. Id. Abstract. For example, a user may be able to manipulate an object that is represented graphically on the computer by moving the input device in a manner in which the user wishes to manipulate the object. Id. col. 1 ll. 15-22.

The input device includes components for determining its position, attitude, and motion. In the preferred embodiment, these components include three accelerometers and three rotational rate sensors for measuring linear acceleration along, and rotational velocity about, three orthogonal axes. Id. col. 3 ll. 3-29, Fig. 1(d). The preferred embodiment also includes a conventional microprocessor that is programmed to periodically read and numerically integrate over time digitized acceleration and rotational rate values to calculate the position, attitude, and motion values for the input device. Id. col. 7 ll. 15-25. The '181 patent does not further explain how the numerical integration is performed, only that it is performed in a " conventional manner." Id. col. 10 ll. 7-9. The input device then outputs these values to the computer to facilitate the user's interaction with the computer. Id. col. 11 ll. 14-42.

Claim 4 is representative of the asserted claims:

An input device for providing information to a computing device, ...

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