Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd. v. International Game Technology
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
521 F.3d 1328 (2008)
Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd. (“Aristocrat”) (plaintiff) held the ‘102 patent related to an electronic slot machine. International Game Technology (“IGT”) (defendant) manufactured similar gaming products and was sued by Aristocrat for infringement of the ‘102 patent in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. The key question was the definiteness of the term “game control means” in claim 1 of the ‘102 patent. The parties agreed that the term was a means-plus-function term which invoked 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6. Consequently, the claim limitation’s scope had to be defined by the structure disclosed in the specification, plus any equivalents, or else the limitation would lack specificity, rending the claim invalid for indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 2. Aristocrat argued that the invention was a standard microprocessor-based gaming machine with “appropriate programming,” but the district court concluded that the specification contained no guidance to determine the meaning of “standard microprocessor” or “appropriate programming.” The court said that the ‘102 patent lacked a “specific algorithm” or any step-by-step process for performing the claimed functions of the slot machines. The district court held that all of the ‘102 patent claims invalid for indefiniteness and Aristocrat appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bryson, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 169,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.