ClearOne Prevails Again – Wins Against Shure Regarding the Validity of ClearOne’s BMA

Patent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Affirms Patent and Trademark Office decision upholding validity of ClearOne beamforming patent.

ClearOne (NASDAQ:CLRO), a leading global provider of audio and visual communication solutions, today announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) issued a judgment last Friday affirming a January 2019 decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) confirming the patentability of all claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,264,553 (the “’553 Patent”). The ’553 Patent covers aspects of ClearOne’s revolutionary innovations in beamforming microphone arrays (BMAs). 

Shure challenged the validity of the ’553 Patent through the inter partes review process in the PTO after ClearOne accused Shure of infringing multiple ClearOne patents covering fundamental BMA technology. “After a one-year, in-depth trial, the PTAB rejected Shure’s arguments and agreed with ClearOne that the ’553 Patent was valid. Shure asked the PTAB to reconsider, but that strategy backfired, as the PTAB only explained Shure’s errors in even greater detail. Shure then appealed to the Federal Circuit, which promptly affirmed the PTAB’s decision just two days after the case was argued in Washington, DC,” said ClearOne Chair and CEO Zee Hakimoglu.

“The Federal Circuit has essentially dealt a knock-out blow to Shure’s campaign against ClearOne’s ’553 Patent in the PTO. This decision should put an end to these misguided efforts. Shure tried desperately to invalidate one of our broadest BMA patents in the PTO and lost,” Hakimoglu explained.

“This is another significant victory for ClearOne,” added Hakimoglu. “Last year ClearOne obtained a preliminary injunction against Shure after demonstrating that Shure was likely infringing a different ClearOne patent, and the Federal Circuit’s decision puts ClearOne in an even better position as we prepare for trial.”

ClearOne’s BMA technology is protected by at least a dozen patents and pending patent applications. The ’553 Patent is directed at ClearOne’s innovative combination of BMA and acoustic echo cancellation (AEC) signal processing. ClearOne has asserted that Shure infringes the ’553 Patent as well as U.S. Patent No. 9,635,186, which is a direct descendant of the ’553 Patent, and U.S. Patent No. 9,813,806, directed at a BMA integrated into a ceiling tile. The ’806 Patent is the basis for the preliminary injunction against Shure.

The case number at the Federal Circuit is 2019-1755 and at the PTAB it was IPR2017- 01785.