Federal Circuit Upholds Thales Motion Tracking Patent Asserted against U.S. Government for Second Time
(Source: IP Watchdog; issued Feb 13, 2018)
By Steve Brachmann
In recent years, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has not shown itself to be an appellate venue which has been friendly to U.S. patent owners. However, a recent decision of the Federal Circuit issued on Tuesday, February 6th, marks the latest victory for an American subsidiary of the French electrical design company Thales Group, the second time that the appellate court has upheld the validity of challenged claims from a patent which has been asserted against the United States government.

The recent Federal Circuit decision in Elbit Systems of America, LLC v. Thales Visionix, Inc. affirmed a final written decision issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which upheld some claims in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding challenging the validity of Thales’ U.S. Patent No. 6474159, titled Motion Tracking and issued in November 2002.

The patent claims a system for tracking the motion of an object relative to a moving reference frame using a first inertial sensor mounted on the tracked object, a second inertial sensor mounted on the moving reference frame and an element that receives signals from both inertial sensors to determine an orientation of the object relative to the moving reference frame.

The resulting invention enables the use of inertial head-tracking systems for platforms including flight simulators and other vehicular applications.

Thales Visionix first asserted the ‘159 patent in a case against the United States government filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims alleging infringement created by the head-mounted display system developed for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. (end of excerpt)


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