TDR partners Meredith Martin Addy and Daniel Konieczny successfully defended key patent claims against an invalidity challenge in an inter partes review proceeding concerning motion tracking technology with applications to the helmet mounted displays used in military aircraft. On October 14, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its final written decision in Elbit Systems of America, LLC v. Thales Visionix, Inc., Case IPR2015-01095. In the decision, the PTAB held that TDR client Thales Visionix, Inc. overcame Elbit Systems of America’s contentions that several claims of Thales Visionix’s patent were invalid based on obviousness.
The claims on which Thales Visionix prevailed cover systems and methods for tracking the orientation or position of an object, such as a pilot’s helmet, relative to a moving reference frame, such as an aircraft. Thales Visionix has brought an action in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, asserting that Elbit incorporated this patented technology as part of the helmet mounted displays supplied to the United States Government for the F-35 fighter aircraft. That action was stayed pending the PTAB’s ruling, and it was independently dismissed based on Elbit’s contention that Thales Visionix’s patent was not directed to patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Thales Visionix has appealed the § 101 decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and on November 2, 2016, TDR partner Meredith Martin Addy argued that case before the Federal Circuit.