The Federal Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment of no inducing or contributory infringement by Nero for supplying software to end users who used the software to play, copy, and record data to and from DVD and Blu-Ray discs.  JVC’s theory of infringement was based on the DVD and Blu-Ray standards, which are essential.  But the discs used by these end users were part of the license pools for DVD and Blu-Ray licenses, and the patents-at-issue were deemed “essential” within the patent pool.  Thus, the district court correctly granted summary judgment of non-infringement: “JVC cannot have it both ways—either the Patent is essential and licensed or JVC cannot rely on the standards to show infringement as it has chosen to do.”  The court, however, vacated the district court’s alternative theory of exhaustion on the grounds that there was insufficient proof that the product whose sale is suggested to exhaust the patent must have originated from or through the patentee.  

JVC Kenwood Corp. v. Nero, Inc., Case No. 2014-1011 (August 17, 2015); Opinion by: Newman, joined by Dyk and Reyna; Appealed From: District Court for the Central District of California, Pfaelzer, J.  Read the full opinion here.

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