Providing Software Does Not Make the Provider the “Final Assembler”

In Acceleration Bay LLC v. 2K Sports, Inc., [2020-1700] (October 4, 2021), the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s claim construction of U.S. Patent No. 6,910,069 and its grant of summary judgment of non-infringement as to the ’069 and U.S. Patent No. 6,920,497, and dismissed the appeal of non-infringement U.S. Patent Nos. 6,701,344 , 6,714,966

With respect to the ‘069 patent, Acceleration Bay argued that the district court erroneously interpreted the claim term “fully connected portal computer” to include a “m-regular” limitation, i.e., a requirement that each participant in the network is connected to exactly m neighbor participants. Take Two argued that pointed out that the district court did not only construe the term “fully connected portal computer” to include the M-regular limitation, but it also construed the term “each participant being connected to three or more other participants” to include it. Since Acceleration Bay did not challenge the construction of each participant being connected to three or more other participants, Take Two argued that the appeal should fail, and the Federal Circuit agreed.

With respect to the ‘497 patent, the Federal Circuit said that Acceleration Bay proffered a “novel theory, without case law support,” that the defendants are liable for “making” the
claimed hardware components, even though they are in fact made by third parties, because defendant’s accused software runs on them, the customer, not Take Two, completes the system by providing the hardware component and installing Take Two’s software. Thus the “final assembler” doctrine of Centrak (where the accused infringer made hardware products and installed them by connecting them to an existing network to create an infringing system) did not apply.