Motorola Mobility LLC and another v. Microsoft, Court of Appeal (Civil Division), London  EWCA Civ 1613 The Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Terence Etherton; Kitchin LJ and Jackson LJ
In a judgment handed down on 11 December 2013, the English Court of Appeal has dismissed Motorola’s appeal from the Order of Mr Justice Arnold revoking Motorola’s European Patent (UK) No. 0 847 654 (“the Patent”) and dismissing Motorola’s claim for infringement of the Patent. The Patent concerned the synchronisation of message information across multiple mobile devices.
The appeal turned solely on the issue of the proper interpretation of claim 1 of the Patent, which the Judge had found invalid for obviousness over the common general knowledge of paging and/or certain pleaded prior art. The main dispute on interpretation concerned the meaning of the term “responsive to” in relation to the workings of a wireless messaging infrastructure in transmitting a message to a second device in order to synchronise it with a first device.
In particular, the issue concerned whether the term required the infrastructure to initiate the sending of the message to the second device, i.e. synchronisation only by a “push” system, as contended by Motorola; or whether it also covered methods in which the second device requests updates from the infrastructure, i.e. synchronisation also by “polling”, as contended by Microsoft and accepted by the Judge at first instance.