Dec 5, 2022Legal
Fresh From the Bench: Latest Federal Circuit Court Case


Treehouse Avatar LLC v. Valve Corp., Appeal No. 2022-1171 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 30, 2022)

In the only precedential patent opinion issued by the Federal Circuit this week, the Court affirmed a district court’s summary judgment ruling that appellee Valve Corporation’s popular “Dota 2” and “Team Fortress 2” online videogames did not infringe Treehouse Avatar’s U.S. Patent No. 8,180,858, finding that the district court did not err in striking portions of Treehouse’s infringement expert report that failed to apply an agreed claim construction adopted by the court.

The ’858 patent is directed to methods of collecting data from user choices involving videogame character attributes such as weapons or clothing, and uses the phrase “character-enabled (CE) network sites” for certain elements of the systems described in the claims. The parties had agreed that the phrase should be construed to mean “a network location, other than a user device, operating under control of a site program to present a character, object, or scene to a user interface,” which the Court adopted. On summary judgment, Valve presented evidence that because character and other data were downloaded to and presented from a user’s own device and not an external server, the accused videogames did not infringe.

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By Jason A. Wrubleski

Edited by Nika Aldrich and Scott D. Eads, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

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