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In re Man Mach. Interface Techs. LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

April 19, 2016

IN RE: MAN MACHINE INTERFACE TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Appellant

          Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. 90/012,469.

         KELLY W. CUNNINGHAM, Cislo & Thomas LLP, Los Angeles, CA, argued for appellant. Also represented by DANIEL M. CISLO.

         JEREMIAH HELM, Office of the Solicitor, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA, argued for appellee Michelle K. Lee. Also represented by THOMAS W. KRAUSE, FARHEENA YASMEEN RASHEED.

         Before LOURIE, O'MALLEY, and STOLL, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          [118 U.S.P.Q.2d 1617] Stoll, Circuit Judge.

         Man Machine Interface Technologies (" Man Machine" ) appeals the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (" Board" ) affirming the examiner's rejection of claims 1, 4, 7-10, and 17 of Man Machine's U.S. Patent No. 6,069,614 (" '614 patent" ). For the reasons below, we affirm-in-part, reverse-in-part, vacate-in-part, and remand.

         Background

         Man Machine's '614 patent, titled " Man Machine Interface via Display Peripheral" is directed to a remote control device for making selections on television or computer screens. Claim 1 requires that the body of the device be " adapted to be held by the human hand." Claim 1 also requires a multi-function " thumb switch being adapted for activation by a human thumb." The thumb switch, which controls cursor movement and object selection on the screen, includes an annular switch (4) including four switches that surround a center switch (3), as shown below in Figure 2A.

(Image Omitted)

'614 patent Fig. 2A.

         Claim 1, which is representative of the challenged claims, reads as follows:

1. A remote control device adapted for use by a human to control and select from a screen, the screen including a plurality of choices and a cursor, the remote control device comprising:
a body adapted to be held by the human hand, the body having a top side and a bottom side;
a thumb switch positioned on the top side of the body, the thumb switch being adapted for activation by a human thumb, the thumb switch being adapted to perform multiple functions;
wherein the thumb switch includes a center switch, an annular switch, and a cover plate, the annular switch including only four switches and the cover plate covers the four switches, wherein the annular switch surrounds the center switch, the annular switch ...

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