Patent Claims Revived in Computer Graphics Case

     (CN) – ATI Technologies may have infringed on patented computer graphics systems like the kind used to animate Pixar movies, the Federal Circuit ruled. The court overturned portions of a federal judge’s ruling that ATI did not infringe on graphics technology patented by Silicon Graphics.

     The judge in Wisconsin ruled for ATI on two grounds. First, she interpreted the claims as precluding direct infringement by ATI customers. Second, she held that Silicon Graphics’ license with Microsoft authorized Microsoft customers to use the patented technology.
     Newly appointed Chief Judge Randall Rader said the lower court “erroneously construed two of the three contested limitations” in the patent and “erred with respect to the effect of the Microsoft license on direct infringement.”
     As a result, the appellate panel vacated summary judgment for ATI on claims with those terms and sent the case back to the Wisconsin judge.
     “We are pleased with the Federal Circuit’s ruling acknowledging the validity of our patented graphics technology, and the reversal of the district court’s claim construction,” said Bradley Scher, president of Graphics Properties Holdings Inc., Silicon Graphics’ successor following bankruptcy.

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