ClearOne today announced that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) yesterday issued a final written decision confirming the patentability of all claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,264,553. The ’553 Patent covers aspects of ClearOne’s innovations in beamforming microphone arrays (BMAs). The case at the PTAB was brought by Shure, Inc., which ClearOne has accused of infringing multiple ClearOne patents covering fundamental BMA technology in federal court.
“Shure took its best shot at invalidating what is perhaps our broadest BMA patent, the ’553 Patent, and it failed,” said ClearOne Chair and CEO Zee Hakimoglu. “Today’s ruling further validates ClearOne’s position as a leading innovator in BMA technology and the strength and importance of ClearOne’s patented innovations in this space,” she added.
ClearOne’s BMA technology is protected by at least a dozen patents and pending patent applications. In the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, ClearOne has asserted that Shure infringes U.S. Patent No. 9,635,186, which is a direct descendant of the ’553 Patent, as well as U.S. Patent No. 9,813,806, directed at a BMA integrated into a ceiling tile.
Hakimoglu explained, “Shure narrowly avoided an injunction in federal court last year for infringing the ’186 Patent due to a question about the ’186 Patent’s validity at the early stage of the litigation. Now, however, a panel of three PTAB judges, after a full inter partes review, has upheld the validity of the even broader ’553 Patent against the same prior art Shure had relied on in the court.”
The case number at the PTAB is IPR2017-01785.