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2013-1224 (Reexamination Nos. 95/001,106 and 95/001,131)
IN THE

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT ___________ RAMBUS, INC., v. MICRON TECHNOLOGY, INC., ___________

Appellant,

Appellee.

Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board. ___________ BRIEF FOR APPELLANT RAMBUS INC. ___________ J. Michael Jakes James R. Barney Molly R. Silfen Aidan C. Skoyles FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER, LLP 901 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 (202) 408-4000 June 27, 2013

Attorneys for Appellant Rambus Inc.

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CERTIFICATE OF INTEREST Pursuant to Federal Circuit Rules 27(a)(7) and 47.4(a), counsel for Appellant Rambus Inc. certify the following: 1. The full name of every party or amicus represented by us is: Rambus Inc. 2. The name of the real party in interest (if the party named in the caption is not the real party in interest) represented by us is: Rambus Inc. 3. All parent corporations and any publicly held companies that own 10 percent or more of the stock of any party represented by us are: None 4. The names of all law firms and the partners or associates that appeared for the parties now represented by us in the trial court or are expected to appear in this Court are: J. Michael Jakes, Kathleen Daley, James R. Barney, Naveen Modi, Molly R. Silfen, Aidan C. Skoyles FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER, LLP

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Table of Authorities ...................................................................................................v Statement of Related Cases .................................................................................... viii Statement of Jurisdiction............................................................................................1 I. II. III. Statement of the Issues ....................................................................................2 Statement of the Case ......................................................................................3 Statement of Facts............................................................................................7 A. Procedural History—Micron Appealed a Samsung Issue to the Board that Micron Never Raised in Its Own Reexamination Request .........................................................................7 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. B. The Samsung Reexamination Request .......................................7 The Micron Reexamination Request ..........................................7 The PTO’s Merger of the Two Reexaminations.........................8 Samsung’s Withdrawal from Reexamination .............................8 The Examiner’s Decision ............................................................8 The Parties’ Appeals to the Board ..............................................9 The Board’s Ruling that Micron Had Standing to Appeal Samsung’s Issues ..........................................................10

Facts Relating to the Board’s Reversal of the Examiner’s Finding that Claims 15 and 16 of the ’285 Patent Are Not Anticipated by Bennett ........................................................................11 1. 2. The ’285 Patent .........................................................................11 Background of the Technology-at-Issue ...................................12 a. b. Dynamic Random Access Memory Devices ..................12 “Asynchronous” Versus “Synchronous” Memory Devices ...........................................................................13 ii

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c. 3.

The Role of Access-Time Registers in the Synchronous Memory Devices of the ’285 Patent .........15

The Bennett Reference ..............................................................19 a. b. c. Overview of Bennett .......................................................19 The Role of “Wait Lines” in Bennett .............................22 Timing of Bus Activity in Bennett .................................25 i. ii. iii. Figure 36...............................................................25 Figure 32...............................................................27 Figures 25a and 25b .............................................29

4. 5.

The Examiner’s Finding that Bennett Does Not Anticipate Claims 15 and 16 .....................................................33 The Board’s Decision Reversing the Examiner’s Finding that Bennett Does Not Anticipate Claims 15 and 16 ........................................................................................34

IV. V.

Summary of Argument ..................................................................................36 Argument .......................................................................................................37 A. The Board Erred in Determining that It Had Jurisdiction over Micron’s Appeal..........................................................................37 1. 35 U.S.C. § 315 Does Not Give a Requester the Right to Appeal Issues Raised by Another Requester in Another Reexamination, Even If the Reexaminations Are Merged ...............................................................................37 The PTO’s Merger Procedure Cannot Confer Statutory Rights upon a Party that It Would Not Otherwise Have Had Absent the Merger ..................................41 Because 35 U.S.C. § 315 Clearly Sets Forth the Limits of the Board’s Jurisdiction, the PTO Is Not Entitled to Chevron Deference in Interpreting This Statute........................................................................................46 iii

2.

3.

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4.

Allowing Micron to Step Into Samsung’s Shoes by Appealing Samsung’s Reexamination Arguments Violates the Statutory Prohibition Against a Party Instituting Simultaneous Inter Partes Reexaminations of the Same Patent.....................................................................49 The Board Could Not Have Created Jurisdiction over Micron’s Appeal by Entering “New Grounds of Rejection” of Claims 15 and 16 ................................................50

5.

B.

The Board Erred in Reversing the Examiner’s Finding that Bennett Does Not Disclose “a Value Which is Representative of the Programmable Number of Clock Cycles” ................................................................................................52 1. Standards of Review .................................................................52 a. Factual Findings of the Board Are Reviewed for Substantial Evidence Based on the Entire Record, Including Any Findings of Fact Made by the Examiner .........................................................................52 The Board’s Claim Construction Is Reviewed de Novo, and Its Anticipation Finding Is Reviewed for Substantial Evidence .................................................53

b.

2.

The Board Implicitly Misconstrued “Representative” as Requiring Only the Ability to Affect the “Number of Clock Cycles” .......................................................................54 Under the Correct Claim Construction, the Board’s Findings Lack Substantial Evidence and Are Clearly Rebutted by the Examiner’s Contrary Findings .......................58

3.

VI.

Conclusion .....................................................................................................63

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TABLE OF AUTHORITIES Cases Almendarez-Torres v. United States, 523 U.S. 224 (1998) ............................................................................................48 Brand v. Miller, 487 F.3d 862 (Fed. Cir. 2007) ......................................................................52, 63 Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984) ................................................................................46, 47, 48 City of Arlington, Texas v. Federal Communications Commission, No. 11-1545, slip op. (S. Ct. May 20, 2013) ......................................................46 Fornaris v. Ridge Tool Co., 400 U.S. 41 (1970) ..............................................................................................40 Gechter v. Davidson, 116 F.3d 1454 (Fed. Cir. 1997) ....................................................................52, 53 In re Baker Hughes Inc., 215 F.3d 1297 (Fed. Cir. 2000) ..........................................................................53 In re Gartside, 203 F.3d 1305 (Fed. Cir. 2000) ..........................................................................52 In re Paulsen, 30 F.3d 1475 (Fed. Cir. 1994) ............................................................................53 In re Stepan Co., 660 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2011) ..........................................................................51 In re Suitco Surface, Inc., 603 F.3d 1255 (Fed. Cir. 2010) ..........................................................................53 Johnson v. Manhattan Railway Co., 289 U.S. 479 (1933) ............................................................................................44 Kokoszka v. Belford, 417 U.S. 642 (1974) ............................................................................................39

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Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. v. Cardiac Science Operating Co., 590 F.3d 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2010) ..........................................................................43 Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992) ............................................................................................48 Merck & Co. v. Kessler, 80 F.3d 1543 (Fed. Cir. 1996) ............................................................................44 New York v. Microsoft Corp., 2002 WL 318565 (D.D.C. 2002) ........................................................................44 Office of Senator Mark Dayton v. Hanson, 550 U.S. 511 (2007) ............................................................................................40 Perry Education Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37 (1983) ..............................................................................................40 Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005) ..........................................................................57 Rite-Hite Corp. v. Kelley Co., 56 F.3d 1538 (Fed. Cir. 1995) ............................................................................50 Southern California Federal Savings & Loan Ass’n v. United States, 51 Fed. Cl. 676 (Fed. Cl. 2002) ..........................................................................44 St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. v. Canon Inc., 412 F. App’x 270 (Fed. Cir. 2011) .....................................................................53 Sullivan v. Stroop, 496 U.S. 478 (1990) ............................................................................................40 Syntex (U.S.A.) Inc. v. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, 882 F.2d 1570 (Fed. Cir. 1989) ..........................................................................50 Talbert Fuel Systems Patents Co. v. Unocal Corp., 275 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2002), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 537 U.S. 802 (2002) ...................................................................58 Tehrani v. Hamilton Medical, Inc., 331 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2003) ..............................................................54, 56, 62 vi

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United States v. Jin Fuey Moy, 241 U.S. 394 (1916) ............................................................................................48 Universal Camera Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board, 340 U.S. 474 (1951) ............................................................................................53 Watson v. Bruns, 239 F.2d 948 (D.C. Cir. 1956) ............................................................................51 STATUTES 2 U.S.C. § 1412 ........................................................................................................40 35 U.S.C. § 2 .....................................................................................................passim 35 U.S.C. § 6 ............................................................................................................52 35 U.S.C. § 7 ............................................................................................................52 35 U.S.C. § 141 ..........................................................................................................1 35 U.S.C. § 314 ........................................................................................................40 35 U.S.C. § 315 .................................................................................................passim 35 U.S.C. § 317 .................................................................................................passim OTHER AUTHORITIES 37 C.F.R. § 1.989 ..............................................................................................passim 37 C.F.R. § 41.50 .....................................................................................................50 37 C.F.R. § 41.77 .....................................................................................................50 4 Donald S. Chisum, Chisum on Patents § 11.06 ....................................................50 MPEP § 2674 ...........................................................................................................45

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STATEMENT OF RELATED CASES Rambus is unaware of any other appeals or petitions taken in this reexamination proceeding. There are, however, a number of different matters pending in this Court and other courts that involve the patent-at-issue in this appeal, U.S. Patent No. 6,266,285 (“the ’285 patent”). 1. The following pending cases involve the ’285 patent. a. Rambus Inc. v. Hynix Semiconductor Inc., No. 5:05-cv-00334-

RMW (N.D. Cal.) (Whyte, J.). b. Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., No. 5:06-cv-00244-

RMW (N.D. Cal.) (Whyte, J.). 2. The following pending cases do not involve the ’285 patent but

involve patents that, like the ’285 patent, descend from Application No. 07/510,898 (“the ’898 application”). a. Hynix Semiconductor Inc. v. Rambus Inc., No. 5:00-cv-20905-

RMW (N.D. Cal.) (Whyte, J.). This case is on remand from Appeal Nos. 20091299, -1347, 645 F.3d 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2011). b. Micron Technology, Inc. v. Rambus Inc., No. 1:00-cv-00792-

SLR (D. Del.) (Robinson, J.). This case is on remand from Appeal No. 2009-1263, 645 F.3d 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2011).

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c. (Seeborg, J.). d.

Rambus Inc. v. LSI Corp., No. 3:10-cv-05446-RS (N.D. Cal.)

Rambus Inc. v. STMicroElectronics, N.V., No. 3:10-cv-05449-

RS (N.D. Cal.) (Seeborg, J.). 3. Several ex parte and inter partes reexaminations involving patents

descended from the ’898 application are pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”). Of those, the following have been appealed to this Court. a. 2012). b. complete). c. Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., No. 2013-1087 Rambus, Inc. v. Kappos, No. 2012-1634 (Fed. Cir.) (briefing In re Rambus Inc., No. 2011-1247, 694 F.3d 42 (Fed. Cir.

(Fed. Cir.) (briefing not yet complete). d. Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., No. 2013-1192

(Fed. Cir.) (briefing not yet complete). e. Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., No. 2013-1228

(Fed. Cir.) (docketed). f. Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., No. 2013-1339

(Fed. Cir.) (docketed).

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g.

Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., No. 2013-1426

(Fed. Cir.) (docketed).

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STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION This appeal arises from two inter partes reexamination proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”). Micron Technology, Inc.

(“Micron”), one of the requesters, appealed the examiner’s confirmation of the claims-at-issue to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (“Board”). The Board reversed the examiner’s confirmation of claims 15 and 16 on April 24, 2012, and Rambus requested rehearing, which the Board denied on November 15, 2012. The Board’s decision was final and appealable. Rambus appealed. This Court has jurisdiction under 35 U.S.C. § 141.

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I.

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES 1. Did Micron have standing to appeal an issue to the Board that it never

raised in its reexamination request, where: (1) Micron did not have a statutory right to appeal that issue prior to the PTO’s sua sponte merger of Micron’s and Samsung’s reexamination proceedings; (2) the PTO’s merger procedure is purely administrative and cannot, by itself, create substantive appeal rights; (3) allowing Micron to step into Samsung’s shoes on appeal violated the principle of 35 U.S.C. § 317(a), which prohibits a third-party requester from concurrently pursuing two inter partes reexaminations of the same patent; and (4) the Board originally ruled that Micron could not appeal Samsung’s issues before reversing itself on that issue? 2. If the Board had jurisdiction, did it err in reversing the examiner’s decision confirming claims 15 and 16 over Bennett, where the examiner had correctly found that Bennett does not disclose “storing a value which is representative of the programmable number of clock cycles” between a write request and the sampling of data in response to that write request, and where the Board’s reversal of that finding was based on an incorrect construction of “representative” and a factually unsupported interpretation of Bennett?

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II.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE Rambus appeals the Board’s reversal of the examiner’s decision confirming

the validity of claims 15 and 16 of the ’285 patent over U.S. Patent No. 4,734,909 to Bennett (“Bennett”). First, the Board lacked jurisdiction over Micron’s appeal because Micron appealed only based on anticipation by Bennett, a theory that was not raised in Micron’s request for reexamination. Because Micron had no standing to appeal that issue prior to the PTO’s merger of Micron’s reexamination with Samsung’s, it could not have gained the right to do so merely by virtue of the PTO’s merger. In other words, the PTO does not have the authority to confer statutory rights on a party through the administrative act of merging two reexamination proceedings. Moreover, allowing Micron to step into Samsung’s shoes on appeal violated the prohibition of 35 U.S.C. § 317(a) that a third-party requester, having successfully initiated an inter partes reexamination of a patent, cannot initiate a second inter partes reexamination of that same patent while the first reexamination is still ongoing. Thus, the Board’s decision should be vacated, and the Board should be ordered to dismiss Micron’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Second, even if the Board had jurisdiction over Micron’s appeal, the Board erred substantively. The examiner in this inter partes reexamination correctly concluded that claims 15 and 16 are not anticipated by Bennett because Bennett 3

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does not disclose “storing a value which is representative of the programmable number of clock cycles” that transpire between a write request and the subsequent sampling of data. (A1078-81.) The examiner specifically rejected the argument that Micron later adopted on appeal (from Samsung), i.e., that a value indicating the configuration of “wait lines” in Bennett somehow satisfies this limitation. (Id.) As the examiner recognized, and as Micron does not dispute, a “wait” signal in Bennett merely indicates whether a device is currently available to receive data; it does not specify when it will receive data. (A1408[16:51-58].) Thus, a wait signal is akin to a busy signal on a telephone line, merely informing the requester that it should try again later at some unspecified time. Recognizing that

transaction-refusal wait signals in Bennett are different than, and essentially the opposite of, the predetermined delay times recited in claims 15 and 16, Micron devised a hypertechnical argument based on the configuration of the wait lines in Bennett—namely, whether they are “dedicated” or “multiplexed.” In one subset of configurations of Bennett, wait signals are transmitted on a dedicated wait line and can therefore be transmitted simultaneously with incoming data. By analogy, two cars can pass on a two-lane road because each has its own dedicated lane. In an alternative subset of configurations of Bennett, wait signals are sent on a “multiplexed” line, which is shared by other signals in a time-based, sequential fashion. This is analogous to two cars traveling in opposite directions 4

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on a single-lane road—i.e., the cars must take turns. Samsung (and later Micron after it stepped into Samsung’s shoes) argued that the wait-line setting in Bennett constitutes “a value which is representative of the programmable number of clock cycles” to transpire because, ignoring all of Bennett’s other settings and their effects, multiplexing the wait-line signal and data causes the data-transmission time slot to move by one clock cycle as compared to a dedicated wait-line configuration. But this argument, which attempts to convert Bennett’s wait-line configuration into a stored, “programmable number of clock cycles,” is factually incorrect, as the examiner readily recognized. As the examiner found, although changing the wait-line configuration in Bennett can affect when data is sampled (assuming everything else remains constant), the wait-line configuration itself “is not ‘representative’ of a number of clock cycles since the number of wait lines [i.e., their configuration] does not correlate to a specific number of clock cycles.” (A1079 (emphasis in original).) He noted, for instance, that the same wait-line value of 3 (denoting a single, dedicated wait line) results in different numbers of clock cycles transpiring in the transactions shown in Figures 25b, 35, and 36. He further noted that different wait-line configurations can result in the same number of clock cycles transpiring, for instance as shown in the transactions in Figures 25b and 32, which use different

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wait-line settings yet result in the same number of clock cycles transpiring. Thus, the examiner was correct when he concluded: [T]he above citations shown in Bennett also makes it clear that the Wait Line does not “represent” a number of clock cycles but instead indicates whether data is accepted or whether the[re] is a need to re-try at a later time. The Examiner notes that that [sic] based on the programmed configuration, the accepting or retrying causes data to be sampled at different clock cycles, however while the configuration digit changes the number of clock cycles that must transpire, the configuration digit itself is not indicative of the number of [“]clock cycles” that will have transpired before data is sampled. (A1078 (emphasis in original).) As the examiner understood (but the Board ignored), many other variables in Bennett, including arbitration, retry conditions, pin configuration, address block size, and bus conditions, can affect the time between a write request and data sampling. Thus, merely knowing the wait-line configuration in Bennett (i.e.,

dedicated versus multiplexed) does not allow one to know the actual number of clock cycles that will transpire between a given write request and the corresponding sampling of data, which is a critical feature of the claimed invention. The examiner correctly recognized this and found that claims 15 and 16 are not anticipated by Bennett. The Board erred in reversing this finding.

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III.

STATEMENT OF FACTS A. Procedural History—Micron Appealed a Samsung Issue to the Board that Micron Never Raised in Its Own Reexamination Request 1. The Samsung Reexamination Request

On November 6, 2008, Samsung filed a request for inter partes reexamination of the ’285 patent. In its request, Samsung alleged that claims 13, 15, and 16 of the ’285 patent were anticipated by Bennett. (A1549.) Samsung also alleged that claims 13, 15, and 16 were rendered obvious by the “JEDEC Standard” in view of U.S. Patent No. 5,590,086 to Park (“Park”), or by Park in view of the knowledge of one of ordinary skill in the art. 1 (Id.) On January 9, 2009, the PTO ordered reexamination of the ’285 patent based on Samsung’s request, assigning it Reexamination Control No. 95/001,106. (A1598.) 2. The Micron Reexamination Request

On December 31, 2008, Micron filed a separate request for inter partes reexamination of the ’285 patent. In its request, Micron alleged that claims 13, 15, and 16 of the ’285 patent were anticipated by an “iAPX Manual” and were rendered obvious by Gustavson, Scalable Coherent Interface Project

(“Gustavson”), in view of either Bennett or U.S. Patent No. 5,301,278 to Bowater (“Bowater”). (A1619, A1634-42.) Notably, Micron did not allege that claims 13, Samsung argued that the ’285 patent was not entitled to an effective filing date earlier than the JEDEC Standard or Park references. 7
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15, and 16 were anticipated by Bennett, nor did it raise the JEDEC Standard or Park. On January 22, 2009, the PTO ordered reexamination of the ’285 patent based on Micron’s request, assigning it Reexamination Control No. 95/001,131. (A1680.) 3. The PTO’s Merger of the Two Reexaminations

On March 9, 2009, the PTO decided sua sponte to merge the Samsungrequested reexamination (95/001,106) and the Micron-requested reexamination (95/001,131) into a consolidated proceeding pursuant to 37 C.F.R. § 1.989. (A1693.) 4. Samsung’s Withdrawal from Reexamination

On February 11, 2010, Samsung filed a notice of nonparticipation in inter partes Reexamination Control No. 95/001,106, stating that “it no longer intends to participate in the present reexamination.” (A1698.) 5. The Examiner’s Decision

On June 23, 2010, after considering all the arguments presented by Samsung and Micron, the examiner declined to adopt Micron’s anticipation argument based on the iAPX Manual or its obviousness arguments based on Gustavson in view of Bennett or Bowater. (A1105-06.) The examiner also declined to adopt Samsung’s obviousness arguments based on the JEDEC Standard and Park. (A1101-02.) The examiner adopted Samsung’s anticipation argument based on Bennett, but only for claim 13, declining to maintain the Bennett rejection for claims 15 and 16. 8

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(A1102-04.) Thus, at the end of prosecution, the examiner rejected claim 13 as anticipated by Bennett (an argument raised only by Samsung) and sustained claims 15 and 16. 6. The Parties’ Appeals to the Board

Because Samsung had already withdrawn from the reexamination and was no longer participating, it did not appeal the examiner’s confirmation of claims 15 and 16 over Bennett. Micron, however, appealed the examiner’s confirmation of claims 15 and 16 of the ’285 patent. Specifically, in its appeal brief to the Board, Micron challenged the examiner’s findings that (1) claims 15 and 16 are not anticipated by Bennett; (2) claims 13, 15, and 16 are entitled to the earlier filing date of the ’285 patent’s parent application; (3) claims 13, 15, and 16 are not rendered obvious by the JEDEC Standard in view of Park; and (4) claims 13, 15, and 16 are not rendered obvious by Park in view of the knowledge of one of ordinary skill in the art. (A1742.) Notably, all of these arguments were originally raised by Samsung, not Micron. Micron did not appeal any of its own issues, i.e., the examiner’s

nonadoption of Micron’s proposed rejections based on the iAPX Manual or Gustavson in view of Bennett or Bowater. (Id.) In short, Micron attempted to step into Samsung’s shoes, taking up issues that only Samsung had raised and that only

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Samsung had a statutory right to appeal. Or, to use another analogy, Micron attempted to switch horses in the middle of the race. 7. The Board’s Ruling that Micron Had Standing to Appeal Samsung’s Issues

Rambus filed a petition to expunge Micron’s appeal brief on the ground that Micron lacked standing to appeal arguments that had been raised only by Samsung, a nonparticipating party. (A2033.) On June 17, 2011, the Board denied Rambus’s petition. The Board held that “the origin of a patentability issue is immaterial to a requester’s right to raise the issue on appeal,” citing its earlier decision in merged proceeding 95/000,250 and 95/001,124. (A2084 (citing A20003-05).) That earlier decision refers, in turn, to the Board’s February 16, 2011, reconsideration decision in merged proceeding 95/001,026 and 95/001,128 (A20009), 2 and its April 15, 2011, decision in merged proceeding 95/000,183 and 95/001,112 (A20017). In its substantive briefs, Rambus also raised Micron’s lack of standing (A1782-84), and the Board addressed the issue in its substantive decisions, relying primarily on its petition decision (A32-33; A4-5). Finding that it had jurisdiction, the Board then proceeded to decide the merits of Micron’s appeal.

This reconsideration decision overturned the December 13, 2010, decision of the Board in merged proceeding 95/001,026 and 95,001,128, in which the Board expunged Micron’s appeal brief and correctly held that, “in a notice of appeal (or cross appeal), a requester is limited to presenting rejections previously proposed by that third party requester.” (A20028 (emphasis in original).) 10

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B.

Facts Relating to the Board’s Reversal of the Examiner’s Finding that Claims 15 and 16 of the ’285 Patent Are Not Anticipated by Bennett 1. The ’285 Patent

The ’285 patent is titled “Method of Operating a Memory Device Having Write Latency.” (A60.) In general, it discloses “[a]n integrated circuit bus

interface for computer and video systems . . . which allows high speed transfer of blocks of data, particularly to and from memory devices, with reduced power consumption and increased system reliability.” (A78[1:20-24].) One focus of the ’285 patent is to make the memory system more efficient so that data can be transferred faster than was possible in the prior art. This is accomplished, in part, by: (1) employing a “synchronous” memory interface, i.e., one that utilizes an external clock signal to govern memory transactions; and (2) storing a value indicating how many clock cycles are to elapse between a write request and the corresponding sampling of data. Claims 15 and 16 of the ’285 patent, the sole claims-at-issue in this appeal, depend from independent claim 13, and recite as follows: 13. A method of operation in a memory device having a section of memory which includes a plurality of memory cells, the method comprising: receiving an external clock signal; receiving a request for a write operation synchronously with respect to the external clock signal; and 11

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sampling data, in response to the request for a write operation, after a programmable number of clock cycles of the external clock signal transpire. 15. The method of claim 13 further including storing a value which is representative of the programmable number of clock cycles of the external clock in a programmable register on the memory device. 16. The method of claim 15 further including receiving a set register request, wherein in response to the set register request, the memory device stores the value in the register. (A90[25:41-50, 57-64] (emphasis added).) 2. Background of the Technology-at-Issue a. Dynamic Random Access Memory Devices

The improvements of the ’285 patent, while applicable to many types of memory devices, are particularly applicable to dynamic random access memory devices or “DRAMs.” (A78[1:48-58].) A DRAM stores information in memory cells for a computer system. These memory cells are typically arranged in a twodimensional array containing many memory cells. (A89[23:43-47].) Each

memory cell contains a capacitor that stores a charge representing one bit of information; for example, a charged capacitor may represent a “1,” while an uncharged capacitor may represent a “0.” (A78[1:59-63].) A computer typically has many DRAMs controlled by a single memory controller. (A78[2:9-12].) Information and control signals flowing between the

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memory controller and the numerous DRAMs can travel on a “bus,” consisting of a series of wires or “lines” that connect the devices. (A78[2:30-33].) b. “Asynchronous” Versus “Synchronous” Memory Devices

Prior to 1990 (the effective filing date of the ’285 patent), conventional DRAMs operated asynchronously, i.e., without being synchronized with an external clock signal. (A79[3:7-13].) Because the control lines that signal read and write operations must continually signal the asynchronous DRAM throughout the transfer, there was no way to temporally decouple a write operation from the write data. The data transfers associated with read and write operations were conducted as soon as the memory controller drove certain control signal transitions on specific bus lines and the DRAMs were able to respond to those control signals. (A78[2:7-19].) In contrast, the DRAMs disclosed in the ’285 patent are “synchronous” (A81[8:43-58]), which means they operate markedly differently from prior-art asynchronous DRAMs. The hallmark of a synchronous DRAM is that an external clock signal governs the timing of the read and write operations. (A81[8:29-30].) In a synchronous system, at least one signal line carries an external clock signal, such as the one shown below from Figure 14 of the ’285 patent, which is used to synchronize all read and write operations for all the DRAMs in the system.

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(A75[Fig. 14].) In this manner, the memory controller and its DRAMs operate “synchronously” with each other. In such a system, the memory controller can issue a request for a write operation to a particular DRAM at a given clock cycle and further specify that the requested data must be sampled a precise number of clock cycles later. (A85[15:63-16:10].) Then, after that precise number of clock cycles has elapsed, that DRAM can sample the data on the bus lines and know that it is the data associated with the earlier write request. (Id.) Meanwhile, in the intervening clock cycles, the memory controller can issue another request to another DRAM and start another access while the first DRAM is working to process the first write. (Id.) In this way, transactions can be interleaved and “prescheduled” to occur at certain times, i.e., after a certain number of clock cycles. (Id.) To understand why interleaving is desirable, it is important to remember that read and write operations take time and that a memory bus has only a limited number of lines to carry all the necessary control signals and data between the memory controller and multiple DRAMs. (A85[15:63-16:2].) If the bus lines are tied up during a particular transaction with one DRAM (as they were in prior-art 14

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asynchronous systems), they are not available for other transactions that the memory controller may wish to execute. However, if the delay time between a write request and the corresponding sampling can be precisely known (e.g., “the data for writing will be sampled in exactly X clock cycles”), then during the intervening clock cycles, the memory controller can issue other requests or send/receive data corresponding to previous requests. This increases the overall efficiency of the system. (See A81[7:8-18].) c. The Role of Access-Time Registers in the Synchronous Memory Devices of the ’285 Patent

The ’285 inventors realized that, in order to interleave read and write transactions in a synchronous memory system, there must be an external clock signal to which all DRAM transactions are synchronized and the controller issuing the read and write requests must know the precise amount of time that will transpire between each request and when a particular memory device will begin outputting or receiving the requested data. (A85[15:63-16:10].) Their solution was to include a set of DRAM internal registers, as shown in Figure 16, that contains one or more “access-time registers” 173 specifying one or more delay times for each individual memory device:

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(A77[Fig. 16].) The ’285 patent describes these access-time registers as follows: With reference to FIG. 16, each semiconductor device contains a set of internal registers 170, preferably including a device identification (device ID) register 171, a device-type descriptor register 174, control registers 175 and other registers containing other information relevant to that type of device. In a preferred implementation, semiconductor devices connected to the bus contain registers 172 which specify the memory addresses contained within that device and access-time registers 173 which store a set of one or more delay times at which the device can or should be available to send or receive data. (A80[6:28-39] (emphasis added).) In a preferred embodiment of the invention, read and write requests are issued as part of a “request packet,” an example of which is illustrated in Figure 4: 16

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(A65[Fig. 4].) Part of the request packet in Figure 4 is an “AccessType” field, which indicates the type of request that is being issued, where different types of requests may have different response timings when multiple access-time registers are provided. (A82[9:57-59].) The ’285 patent explains this concept as follows: The AccessType field [of the request packet] specifies whether the requested operation is a read or write and the type of access, for example, whether it is to the control registers or other parts of the device, such as memory. . . . AccessType[1:2] preferably indicates the timing of the response, which is stored in an access-time register, AccessRegN. (A82[9:47-59] (emphasis added).) Thus, the ’285 patent discloses a synchronous memory system having an external clock signal that governs the timing of read/write requests and the 17

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responses to those requests.

In a preferred embodiment, when the memory

controller wishes to issue a read or write request to a particular memory device, it assembles a “request packet” that includes the type of access. The timing of the response by the memory device is known based on the value stored in the accesstime register that corresponds to the type of access specified (e.g., “data for write requests for this device should be sampled in X bus cycles”). (A82[9:16-19].) In this manner, once the write request has been issued, the controller will know that it has exactly X bus cycles during which it can process other memory transactions before the memory device begins sampling data to be written. This allows for interleaving, which improves the overall efficiency of the system, as explained above. (See also A81[7:8-18].) The use of access-time registers also reduces the complexity of the memory devices themselves (sometimes referred to as “slaves”), as the ’285 patent explains: To reduce the complexity of the slaves [e.g., memory devices], a slave should preferably respond to a request in a specified time, sufficient to allow the slave to begin or possibly complete a device-internal phase including any internal actions that must precede the subsequent bus access phase. (A81[8:48-52].) The ’285 patent also explains how to choose and set appropriate access times for a given memory device: 18

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The value stored in a slave access-time register 173 is preferably one-half the number of bus cycles for which the slave device should wait before using the bus in response to a request. Thus an access time value of ‘1’ would indicate that the slave should not access the bus until at least two cycles after the last byte of the request packet has been received. (A85[15:63-16:8].) Thus, the values stored in the access-time registers have a direct correlation to the request-to-sampling access times they represent. For

instance, in the preferred embodiment, an access-time value of 1 represents two bus cycles, while 2 represents four bus cycles, 3 represents six bus cycles, etc. (Id.) And, as the above discussion makes clear, the access time represents the number of bus cycles a memory device will wait (i.e., skip) before it begins accessing the bus to respond to that request. (A85[16:5-8]; see also A81[7:8-18] (“A request packet and the corresponding bus access are separated by a selected number of bus cycles . . . .”).) 3. The Bennett Reference a. Overview of Bennett

Bennett is a 396-page patent that nowhere discloses access-time registers or the concept of a predetermined delay time between receipt of a write request and the sampling of data. Instead, what this voluminous document discloses is a versatile bus interface for a mainframe computer system, circa 1982. (A1146.)

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A key component of Bennett’s system is a “Versatile Bus,” which is the primary bus that carries information and control signals to and from the various user devices that are attached to it, as illustrated in Figure 1:

(A1147[Fig. 1].) As its name suggests, the Versatile Bus in Bennett presents an overarching protocol that can be configured in many different ways, resulting in what Bennett calls “stupendous versatility.” (A1440[79:32].) In practice, the Versatile Bus is configured using a configuration register that includes eight parameters (I through VIII), each having the possible values set forth in Figure 3:

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(A1149[Fig. 3].) Bennett explains Figure 3 as follows: FIG. 3 shows an entire spectrum of possible parameterization of Versatile Buses. The left hand column, Configuration Digit, is an index number used to specify a selection of a particular configuration value in one of the other columns I through VIII. For example, a configuration digit of 5 in the position of group lines column I specifies that 8 lines are used in an arbitration group. A string of eight configuration digits will completely specify a Versatile Bus configuration. For example the string 43133355 specifies a Versatile Bus configuration with four group lines, 2 multiplexed groups using a (fixed priority) multiplexed scheme for the conduct of time-phased arbitration[,] two Slave Identification/Function lines, 2 Slave Identification/ Function cycles, 1 wait line and 16 data lines . . . .

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(A1439[78:26-40].) Thus, Bennett discloses a single Versatile Bus that can be configured many different ways. (A1440[79:32].) Bennett does not, however, disclose DRAMs and DRAM controllers, or enable the operation of a DRAM by a DRAM controller using the Versatile Bus. The area below the dashed line corresponding to configuration 55255355 in Figure 3 defines a preferred bus configuration “envelope” that Bennett considered preferable. As Bennett explains: [I]t must be recognized that this 55255355 Versatile Bus interface envelope of the preferred embodiment of the invention will support a great multitude of subset interfaces meeting the design rule. For example, the Versatile Bus configurations of 42252255 shown in FIG. 32, 43112244 shown in FIG. 33, 52252355 shown in FIG. 35, and 43153352 shown in FIG. 36, will all be supported by 55255355 preferred embodiment Versatile Bus interface envelope as incorporated in the preferred embodiment Versatile Bus Interface Logics chip design. (A1439-40[78:68-79:10]; see also A1420[39:18-20] (“There are 31,045 different allowable configurations of the preferred embodiment of the invention.”).) Notably, Figure 3 is the only configuration matrix in Bennett (see A1412[24:25]), and it serves as a roadmap to understanding the entire universe of Versatile Bus configurations (see A1440[79:27-33]). b. The Role of “Wait Lines” in Bennett

Eight configuration parameters, each taking one of up to five preferred configuration values, describe the overall operation of a given Versatile Bus 22

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configuration.

Of these, the Board focused only on the sixth configuration

parameter (i.e., parameter “VI”), which specifies the number and configuration of “wait lines” on the Versatile Bus. A “wait line” is a bus line that carries “wait information.” Wait information tells an “owner” (e.g., a requester) whether a “slave” (e.g., memory) attached to the bus is currently able to accept or sample data in a particular transaction. (A1438[75:57-68].) As Bennett explains: [T]here are a lot of meanings that can be ascribed to the wait line, all generally subsumed under the concept that a slave device is unable, unwilling, or indisposed from accepting the data transfer activity within a transaction. (A1438[76:20-24].) A slave drives a nonzero wait value onto a wait line to alert a requester that data cannot presently be accepted by that slave for that particular transaction and that the requester should therefore try again later. (See id.) Thus, it is akin to a “busy signal” on a conventional telephone line, telling the caller to try again later. As shown below in red, in column VI of Figure 3, there are three options for the number and configuration of wait lines in the preferred embodiment of Bennett (below the dashed “envelope” line): one dedicated wait line (configuration digit = 3); zero wait lines (configuration digit = 2); or “MPX,” which stands for a “multiplexed” wait line (configuration digit = 1). (See A1438[76:1-4].) Note that two or four wait lines are also possible (configuration digits = 4 or 5), but these are not within Bennett’s preferred envelope. (A1438[76:57-67].) 23

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(A1149[Fig. 3] (boxes added).) In the first case described above (wait-line configuration digit = 3), the system contains one dedicated wait line, separate and distinct from any other data line. This means the slave for a given transaction can transmit wait information simultaneously with the master transmitting data, since they are carried on different lines. (A1439[77:40-43].) Like two cars passing on a two-lane road, they can travel at the same time. In the second case described above (configuration digit = 2), there are zero wait lines and, therefore, wait information is not used at all. (A1446[92:46-51].) In the third case described above (configuration digit = 1), wait information is “multiplexed” with data on a single line, such that both wait information and data share the line. In this case, although there is no dedicated 24

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wait line, the slaves still transmit wait information by alternating it with the master data on a shared line. (A1439[77:40-43].) Like two cars passing on a one-lane road, one must wait until the other has gone first. They cannot pass at the same time. c. Timing of Bus Activity in Bennett

The Board’s decision refers to several timing schematics in Bennett, including those illustrated in Figures 25a, 25b, 32, and 36. Each of these will be discussed briefly below to provide context for the Board’s decision. i. Figure 36

Figure 36 of Bennett “shows pin utilization and activity timing for an operation Write conducted with a large memory across a 43153355 configuration Versatile Bus.” (A1413[26:55-57] (emphasis added to highlight parameter VI).) By reference to Figure 3, this configuration is within the “envelope” of Bennett’s preferred embodiment. (See A1440[79:4-10].) Notably, parameter VI in the

Figure 36 configuration is set to 3, indicating one dedicated wait line. Figure 36 is reproduced below with annotations added to show the write instruction and the commencement of data sampling in response to the write instruction. Note that time transpires in the downward direction in this figure, with each horizontal row representing one clock cycle.

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write instr. data

(A1170[Fig. 36].) As shown above, and as the examiner found (A1078), in the memory write transaction shown in Figure 36, two clock cycles elapse between receipt of the write instruction and the commencement of data sampling (i.e., data sampling begins on the third clock cycle after receipt of the write instruction). The two intervening cycles contain the wait signal (“WT” in the figure above) and the address bits for the location of the write request. Note that the number of address bits is not established based on any value stored in a register on the large memory. (A1448[96:33-42].) The “WT” signal in Figure 36 provides the wait information for the recipient memory slave. “WT” allows the memory slave in Figure 36 to refuse or accept the

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transaction based on the instantaneous conditions of the system, i.e., the slave need not sample the data if it will not absorb it. (See A1438[76:26-30] (“[A] Wait signal simply tells the User who is master that the currently outgoing data is failing to be absorbed by at least one slave User device and that the master User should (normally) try again after an interval to send the same data.”); A1408[16:56-58].) ii. Figure 32

Figure 32 of Bennett “shows pin utilization and activity timing for an operation Read or Write with a fast memory across a 42252255 configuration Versatile Bus.” (A1413[26:41-43] (emphasis added to highlight parameter VI).) By reference to Figure 3, this configuration is within the “envelope” of Bennett’s preferred embodiment. (See A1440[79:4-10].) Notably, parameter VI in the

Figure 32 configuration is set to 2, indicating that there is no wait line. Figure 32 is reproduced below with annotations added to show the read/write request and the commencement of data transfer in response to the read/write request.

read/ write instr. data

(A1167[Fig. 32].)

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As shown above, and as the examiner found (A1077), in the memory read or write transaction shown in Figure 32, there are no clock cycles (i.e., no delay time) between receipt of the read/write instruction (i.e., the “OPERATION” block in the above schematic) and the commencement of data transfer. In other words, data transfer begins on the next clock cycle after the read or write instruction is received. Note that if Figure 32 were configured to use the same wait configuration (3) as Figure 36 (i.e., a non-fast-memory arrangement), such that it exchanged wait information at the same time as the data, the data timing would remain unchanged. In other words, in that configuration, data in Figure 32 would still be transmitted on the next clock cycle after the read or write instruction because the wait information would be transmitted simultaneously on the same clock cycle. Thus, as the examiner noted (A1077-79), two bus configurations in Bennett with the identical wait-line setting in Bennett will not necessarily have the same sampling delay (i.e., Figure 32 with a wait configuration of 3 would sample data on the next clock cycle after the instruction, whereas Figure 36 using wait configuration 3 samples data on the third clock cycle after the instruction). Likewise, two

otherwise identical bus configurations in Bennett with different wait-line settings can nevertheless have the same sampling delay (i.e., Figure 32 would have the same zero-clock-cycle delay whether the wait-line setting were 2, 3, 4 or 5). These 28

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were important points supporting the examiner’s finding that the wait-line configuration in Bennett is not “representative” of the number of clock cycles that will necessarily transpire between a write instruction and the corresponding sampling of data. (A1079 (“[T]he Configuration Value of Wait Lines is not ‘representative’ of a number of clock cycles since the number of wait lines does not correlate to a specific number of clock cycles.” (emphasis in original).) iii. Figures 25a and 25b

Figures 25a and 25b of Bennett are part of a sequence of figures (25a-h) used to show the relative order of operations in a generic bus transaction, not disclosed as a memory transaction. (A1443[85:10-17].) Specifically, Figures 25a and 25b show hypothetical transactions for two particular configurations of the Versatile Bus differing only in that one has a multiplexed wait and data line (Figure 25a), and the other has one dedicated wait line (Figure 25b). Notably, as the Board conceded in a related proceeding, these figures depict only “generic informational transactions,” not necessarily memory transactions. (A20181.)

Moreover, the illustrated transactions in these figures have been artificially “simplified” to illustrate the sequence of operations. Specifically, as Bennett

explains, “to simplify presentation of timing concepts [in these figures,] all . . . activities are assumed to be but one cycle.” (A1443[85:17-19] (emphasis added).) This artificial assumption would not necessarily apply, however, to real-world 29

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memory transactions in Bennett, such as those illustrated in Figures 32 and 36 (as explained above). Figures 25a and 25b are reproduced below, showing clock cycles T0, T1, T2, etc., across the top:

(A1160[Figs. 25a, 25b].) In Figure 25a, the Versatile Bus configuration is “completely pin multiplexed: Arbitration, Slave Identification/Function, Wait and Data all transpire upon the selfsame data pins (lines).” (A1443[86:4-9].) In other words, although they are shown on separately illustrated lines in Figure 25a, they are in fact implemented on a single bus line where the first clock cycle corresponds to Arbitration, the second to ID/Function, the third to Wait, and the fourth to Data. Because of this (i.e., because all four activities are transmitted sequentially on the same bus line), this configuration “must, and does, accord separate cycles to the four activities of Arbitration, Slave Identification/Function, Wait and Data . . . .” (A1443[86:9-14].) 30

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As can be seen in Figure 25a, in this hypothetical, simplified transaction, there are a total of four clock cycles between the beginning of the generic transaction at T0 and the end of the transaction at T4. (A1443[86:37-41].) And there is one clock cycle between the end of the generic ID/Function transmission at T2 and the beginning of data transmission at T3 (which, again, would not necessarily be the case in a real-world memory transaction in Bennett, e.g., because real memory transactions require a memory address). In Figure 25b, the Wait line is not multiplexed. Instead, it is provided as a dedicated line (i.e., parameter VI is set to 3 instead of 1). Because of this, the Wait signal and Data can both be transmitted simultaneously during T2, since they are being transmitted on separate lines. These are the two “cars” passing at the same time on a two-lane road. This, in turn, “allows reduction in total transaction cycle times from 4 clock cycles to 3 clock cycles,” as compared to Figure 25a. (A1443[86:39-41].) This hypothetical reduction (which, again, may be completely obscured in a real-world memory transaction once other factors are considered) results from the fact that wait information and data are transmitted simultaneously, rather than being multiplexed as in Figure 25a. It should be noted that just because “Data” is transmitted in Figures 25a and 25b does not mean a “slave” is actually receiving that data. As explained above, a “wait” instruction generally indicates unavailability of the slave device(s) to 31

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complete the requested transaction, necessitating that the master “try again after an interval to send the same data.” (A1438[76:25-30].) Thus, just because data is being transmitted on the Versatile Bus in Figures 25a and 25b, this does not mean the data is actually being sampled by the slave to which it is addressed. Instead, it is up to the slave whether or not to sample the data based on the instantaneous conditions of the system. Moreover, because Figures 25a and 25b show only simplified “generic informational transactions” (A20181), it is impossible to know how they would relate—if at all—to an actual memory write transaction such as that shown in Figure 36. In other words, because Figures 25a and 25b are so simplified and generic, they provide no information about the actual time that would transpire between a write request and sampled data in an actual memory write transaction. For example, Figures 25a and 25b do not show any address information being sent across the bus, whereas an actual memory transaction would necessarily include such address information. (See A1168[Fig. 34].) In Figure 36, this address

information is provided over two clock cycles. But in Figures 25a and 25b, because no address information is shown at all, it is impossible to know how much time would actually transpire between a write request and data sampling, even assuming memory accesses were possible with these hypothetical transactions.

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4.

The Examiner’s Finding that Bennett Does Not Anticipate Claims 15 and 16

After a thorough review of the record, the examiner concluded that Bennett does not disclose “storing a value which is representative of the programmable number of clock cycles of the external clock in a programmable register.” (A107281.) The examiner found that, although a change in the wait-line value in Bennett (i.e., parameter VI) can affect the number of cycles that transpire in a transaction, this does not mean the wait-line value represents the number of clock cycles that will transpire before data is sampled in response to a write request: [T]he Examiner notes that Figures 25a and 25b shows [sic] that a change in the configuration value changes the number of clock cycles that transpire, however, the above citations shown in Bennett also makes it clear that the Wait Line does not “represent” a number of clock cycles but instead indicates whether data is accepted or whether th[ere] is a need to re-try at a later time. The Examiner notes that that [sic] based on the programmed configuration, the accepting or retrying causes data to be sampled at different clock cycles, however while the configuration digit changes the number of clock cycles that must transpire, the configuration digit itself is not indicative of the number of [“]clock cycles” that will have transpired before data is sampled. **** [F]igures 32, 35 and 36, bring to light that the Configuration Value of Wait Lines is not “representative” of a number of clock cycles since the number of wait lines does not correlate to a specific number of clock cycles. (A1078-79 (emphases in original).) 33

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Based on this finding, the examiner correctly concluded that claims 15 and 16 are not anticipated by Bennett. (A1081.) Notably, in the quote above, the examiner refers to Bennett’s Figure 35, which shows a split-transaction large memory read. (A1413[26:50-54].) Samsung had originally contended that the Bennett wait-line configuration specified a data delay for both write and read transactions. (A1585-86.) It is particularly clear from Figure 35 that request-toread data delay is unknowable in Bennett’s split-transaction protocol, no matter what the wait-line configuration is, because the memory must separately arbitrate onto the bus, which requires an indeterminate amount of time (as indicated by the vertical ellipses in Figure 35 (A1169)). Thus, Figure 35 supported the examiner’s determination that the wait-line value in Bennett does not represent a stored, programmable delay. (A1078-79.) Further discussion of Figure 35 has been omitted in this brief, however, because the claims-at-issue focus on write transactions, whereas Figure 35 discloses a read transaction. 5. The Board’s Decision Reversing the Examiner’s Finding that Bennett Does Not Anticipate Claims 15 and 16

On appeal, the Board reversed the examiner’s finding of no anticipation and, specifically, the finding that Bennett does not disclose “a value which is representative of a programmable number of clock cycles.” This was based in part

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on the Board’s implicit misconstruction of the term “representative” and also on its fundamental misunderstanding of Bennett. The Board made no attempt to rebut that the same wait-line parameter in Bennett results in different numbers of clock cycles transpiring in the transactions shown in Figures 25b, 35, and 36. Instead, the Board dismissed this fact as follows: Rambus’s response, comparing how the same programmable digit 3 causes different delays in different embodiments, simply does not defeat the anticipation by any single configured embodiment of Figures 25a-h, which show the two choices for programmable digits for those configurations, either 1 or 3. (A40.) Despite referring to several configurations (Figures 25a-h) as an alleged “single configured embodiment,” the Board failed to demonstrate an embodiment where the wait-line configuration represents the number of clock cycles between a write request and sampled data. The Board’s analysis focused instead on

comparing two hypothetical, generic transactions in two different bus configurations in Bennett and noting how the change in wait-line value affects data timing within these hypothetical transactions. (Id.) The Board focused primarily on the hypothetical, generic transactions illustrated in Figures 25a-h. (See A39-41.) The Board’s analysis, however, failed to address the reality of Bennett’s overall system, where the timing of memory transactions depends on much more than the 35

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wait-line configuration, including arbitration, the pin settings and address block size, the memory’s own behavior, and the instantaneous behavior of other actors on the bus. None of these factors serves the purpose of an intentional, stored “programmable number of clock cycles,” as required in the claims-at-issue. IV. SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT The Board lacked jurisdiction to hear Micron’s appeal of the validity of claims 15 and 16, and therefore should have dismissed the appeal. First, because Micron did not raise the Bennett anticipation argument in its request for inter partes reexamination and had no right to appeal that issue prior to the PTO’s merger, it could not have gained the right to do so merely by virtue of the PTO’s merger. In other words, the PTO does not have the authority to confer statutory rights on a party through the administrative act of merging two reexamination proceedings. Second, allowing Micron to step into Samsung’s shoes in this

reexamination proceeding violated the prohibition of 35 U.S.C. § 317(a) that a third-party requester, having successfully initiated an inter partes reexamination of a patent, cannot initiate a second inter partes reexamination of that same patent while the first is still ongoing. Because standing is a jurisdictional prerequisite and because the Board would not have had jurisdiction to decide the validity of claims that were not appealed to it, the Board should never have reached the validity of claims 15 and 16. 36

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Even if the Board had jurisdiction over Micron’s appeal (which it did not), it erred by reversing the examiner’s finding that Bennett does not disclose “a value which is representative of the programmable number of clock cycles.” The

Board’s analysis was premised on an implicitly incorrect construction of “representative,” which allowed the Board to conclude that, just because Bennett’s wait-line configuration can affect the number of clock cycles that will transpire, this necessarily means the configuration is representative of the number of clock cycles that will transpire. Under a proper construction of “representative,” no such conclusion can properly be drawn. Moreover, the Board’s factual findings lack substantial evidence and are clearly rebutted by the examiner’s contrary findings regarding Figures 25b, 32, and 36 of Bennett. V. ARGUMENT A. The Board Erred in Determining that It Had Jurisdiction over Micron’s Appeal 1. 35 U.S.C. § 315 Does Not Give a Requester the Right to Appeal Issues Raised by Another Requester in Another Reexamination, Even If the Reexaminations Are Merged

Under 37 C.F.R. § 1.989, the PTO may, in its sole discretion, choose to merge two or more pending inter partes reexaminations relating to the same patent into a consolidated proceeding. The sole statutory authority for this rule is

35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2), which generally gives the PTO the authority to establish regulations, “not inconsistent with law,” that govern the conduct of proceedings in 37

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the PTO. Nothing in 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2), however, permits the PTO to promulgate a regulation that confers statutory rights upon a party that it would not otherwise have absent the regulation. Consistent with this fact, the PTO has referred to merger merely as a “procedural housekeeping issue.” (A20204.) The statutory right of a third-party requester of an inter partes reexamination to appeal to the Board is established by 35 U.S.C. § 315, which states in relevant part: (b) Third-Party Requester. A third-party requester [of an inter partes reexamination]— (1) may appeal under the provisions of section 134 [to the Board], and may appeal under the provisions of sections 141 through 144 [to the CAFC], with respect to any final decision favorable to the patentability of any original or proposed amended or new claim of the patent; and (2) may, subject to subsection (c), be a party to any appeal taken by the patent owner under the provisions of section 134 [to the Board] or sections 141 through 144 [to the CAFC]. 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) (2002).3 Notably, section 315 of the patent statute does not contemplate, suggest, or otherwise encompass the concept of merged reexamination proceedings, since

3

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merger of reexamination proceedings is a creature of PTO regulation, not statute. Thus, when section 315 refers to “any final decision” in subsection (b)(1) and “any appeal taken by the patent owner” in subsection (b)(2), it is referring to any final decision or appeal in the particular reexamination that the third party actually requested. It does not, for instance, give Party A the right to appeal a final decision in Party B’s separate and wholly distinct reexamination proceeding, merely because both proceedings involve the same patent. Nor does it give Party A the right to participate in an appeal to the Federal Circuit taken by the patent owner from a different reexamination requested by Party B, involving a different patent. This is abundantly clear not only from the language of section 315 itself but also from the context of the entire statute. See Kokoszka v. Belford, 417 U.S. 642, 650 (1974) (holding that, when interpreting a statutory provision, the “whole statute” must be considered). Throughout the statutory sections that implemented the inter partes reexamination procedure in 2000, as amended in 2002, there is an obvious and inescapable assumption that references to “any” (e.g., “any appeal,” “any document,” “any communication”) pertain only to a particular reexamination requested by a particular third party, not to all reexaminations generally involving the same patent or patent owner. For instance, section 314(b) states in part: “With the exception of the inter partes reexamination request, any document filed by either the patent owner or the 39

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third-party requester shall be served on the other party.” 35 U.S.C. § 314(b)(1) (2000) (emphasis added). Does this mean that, if Requesters A and B are both involved in unrelated reexaminations against the same patent owner, the patent owner must serve both requesters with all filed documents, even if the reexaminations involve unrelated patents? The answer is obviously no, and neither the PTO nor Micron has ever suggested otherwise. And yet that would be the absurd result of applying the PTO’s sweeping interpretation of “any” in section 315(b) to the other provisions of this statute. Cf. Sullivan v. Stroop, 496 U.S. 478, 484 (1990) (“[I]dentical words used in different parts of the same act are intended to have the same meaning.” (citation omitted)). Moreover, because section 315(b) is a statute that grants appeal rights to third-party requesters in specific circumstances, it should be narrowly construed. See Office of Senator Mark Dayton v. Hanson, 550 U.S. 511, 515 (2007) (“[S]tatutes authorizing appeals are to be strictly construed.” (citing Perry Ed. Ass’n v. Perry Local Educators’ Assn., 460 U.S. 37, 43 (1983); Fornaris v. Ridge Tool Co., 400 U.S. 41, 42 n.1 (1970) (per curiam))). In Hanson, the Supreme Court interpreted a statute that provided that “[a]n appeal may be taken directly to the Supreme Court of the United States from any interlocutory or final judgment, decree, or order of a court upon the constitutionality of any provision of this chapter.” Hanson, 550 U.S. at 514 (quoting 2 U.S.C. § 1412(a)). The Court 40

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declined to interpret this provision broadly enough to include an “as applied” constitutional holding of an appellate court, relying in part on the doctrine that “statutes authorizing appeals are to be strictly construed.” Id. 2. The PTO’s Merger Procedure Cannot Confer Statutory Rights upon a Party that It Would Not Otherwise Have Had Absent the Merger

Rambus’s argument is best illustrated by considering Micron’s right to appeal to the Board under 35 U.S.C. § 315 in two distinct circumstances: (1) absent merger and (2) with merger. Absent merger of the two reexamination proceedings under 37 C.F.R. § 1.989, the Micron-requested proceeding would have continued on its own path, separate and distinct from the Samsung-requested proceeding. In the Micronrequested proceeding, the examiner would have ultimately rejected all of Micron’s invalidity arguments, i.e., the proposed anticipation rejection based on the iAPX Manual and the proposed obviousness rejections based on Gustavson in view of either Bennett or Bowater. (A1105-06.) At that point, the only issues Micron could have appealed to the Board and to this Court would have been the examiner’s nonadoption of those proposed rejections. See 35 U.S.C. § 315(b)(1) (2002). In the nonmerger scenario, the Samsung-requested proceeding would have likewise continued on its own separate path. The examiner in that proceeding 41

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would have ultimately found claim 13 anticipated by Bennett and claims 15 and 16 allowable over Bennett. (A1102-04.) At that point, Rambus would have appealed the claim 13 rejection to the Board (as it did), and Samsung would have had the right (but for its earlier withdrawal) to appeal the examiner’s affirmance of claims 15 and 16. But since Samsung had already withdrawn from the reexamination proceeding, it would not have appealed. Therefore, the only issue that would have been appealed to the Board in the Samsung-requested proceeding would have been the rejection of claim 13, appealed only by Rambus. In the nonmerger scenario, Micron would not have had any statutory right to appeal anything in the Samsung-requested reexamination proceeding since Micron was never a party to that proceeding. Thus, Micron could not have appealed the examiner’s affirmance of claims 15 and 16 over Bennett. As explained above, 35 U.S.C. § 315 only gives third-party requesters the right to appeal adverse decisions in the reexaminations that they actually requested. There is no legitimate reading of the statute that would have conferred on Micron the right to suddenly jump into Samsung’s reexamination proceeding and appeal issues to the Board that Micron had never raised in its own proceeding. Nor is there any legitimate reading of the statute that would have given Micron the right to step into Samsung’s shoes after Samsung withdrew from its reexamination proceeding, such that Micron could

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have somehow become the appellee in Samsung’s reexamination proceeding, taking up Samsung’s would-be positions before the Board and this Court. Compare the nonmerger scenario to what actually occurred below, i.e., where the PTO sua sponte merged the Samsung-requested proceeding and the Micron-requested proceeding pursuant to 37 C.F.R. § 1.989. In this “merger” scenario, according to the Board’s logic, Micron was suddenly endowed with new statutory rights. According to the Board, by mere virtue of the merger procedure— a regulatory creature solely of the PTO’s making—Micron now had the right to appeal issues it never raised in its reexamination request. According to the Board, as soon as the two proceedings were merged, the scope of 35 U.S.C. § 315 expanded such that Micron could not only appeal “any final decision” on issues it had raised but also on issues that Samsung had raised. According to the Board’s logic, this significant expansion of Micron’s statutory rights occurred solely because of the happenstance of the PTO’s decision to merge the two proceedings. As explained above, had there been no such merger, Micron would not have enjoyed this alleged expansion of its statutory rights. The problem with the Board’s logic is that the PTO does not have the authority to expand a party’s statutory appeal rights in this manner. See

Koninklijke Philips Elecs. N.V. v. Cardiac Sci. Operating Co., 590 F.3d 1326, 1336 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (“The PTO lacks substantive rulemaking authority.”); see also 43

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Merck & Co. v. Kessler, 80 F.3d 1543, 1549-50 (Fed. Cir. 1996) (“[T]he broadest of the PTO’s rulemaking powers—35 U.S.C. § 6(a) [now contained in 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)]—authorizes the Commissioner to promulgate regulations directed only to ‘the conduct of proceedings in the [PTO]’; it does NOT grant the Commissioner the authority to issue substantive rules.” (third alteration in original) (citation omitted)). Thus, the PTO cannot interpret its own merger rule in a manner that would confer new substantive rights on Micron (e.g., the right to appeal Samsung’s proposed rejections) that Micron would not have enjoyed absent the merger. Indeed, in litigation, consolidation of two cases does not give any party greater or lesser rights that it would have had absent the consolidation. See Johnson v. Manhattan Ry. Co., 289 U.S. 479, 496-97 (1933) (“[C]onsolidation is permitted as a matter of convenience and economy in administration, but does not merge the suits into a single cause, or change the rights of the parties, or make those who are parties in one suit parties in another.”); New York v. Microsoft Corp., No. Civ. A. 98-1233, 2002 WL 318565, at *4 (D.D.C. Jan. 28, 2002) (“[R]ather than merging the rights of the parties, consolidation is a purely ministerial act which, inter alia, relieves the parties and the Court of the burden of duplicative pleadings. Hence, the mere fact of consolidation does not” allow one party to take advantage of a rule applicable to the other party. (footnote omitted)); S. Cal. Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n v. United States, 51 Fed. Cl. 676, 678 (Fed. Cl. 44

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2002) (“[Consolidation] does not expand this Court’s jurisdiction, which is narrowly defined and statutorily prescribed by Congress. Our jurisdiction cannot be enlarged by rule.”). By the same token, Micron should not be permitted to appeal issues raised only by Samsung merely because of the “ministerial act” of merger, which is a creature of regulation, not statute. If the Board’s decision were allowed to stand, the PTO will have effectively enlarged Micron’s statutory rights to appeal by administrative fiat, contrary to the spirit and the letter of the patent statute. Moreover, it is worth noting that the Board correctly ruled on this issue the first time it was raised, although it later reversed itself on reconsideration. Specifically, in merged proceeding 95/001,026 and 95/001,128, the Board originally ruled that, “in a notice of appeal (or cross appeal), a requester is limited to presenting rejections previously proposed by that third party requester.” (A20028 (emphasis in original).) That ruling was based on the Board’s

interpretation of MPEP § 2674(B), which states that “[a] notice of appeal by a third party requester must identify each rejection that was previously proposed by that third party requester which the third party requester intends to contest.” MPEP § 2674(B) (8th ed. Rev. 7 July 2008). Rambus submits that the Board was correct in this ruling, not only based on MPEP § 2674(B), but also on 35 U.S.C. §§ 315 and 2(b)(2), as explained above. 45

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Indeed, more recently, the PTO has further muddied its position in reexaminations of other parties’ patents, stating that, although two inter partes reexaminations were merged, “[n]o inter partes requester has a right to comment on any issue raised outside the confines of the statute, e.g. issues raised in . . . the request and comments from another requester.” (A20163.) The PTO has further opined that, for appeals to the Board, “each inter partes reexamination requester’s appeal must only be taken from the finding(s) of patentability of claims in the [Right of Appeal Notice] that the individual third party requester proposed in the request, and any that the individual third party requester properly added during the examination stage of the merged proceeding.” (A20163-64; compare A1694-95 (in present merger, including no discussion of comment rights or appeal rights).) The PTO’s lack of clarity on this issue demonstrates that this Court’s guidance is badly needed. 3. Because 35 U.S.C. § 315 Clearly Sets Forth the Limits of the Board’s Jurisdiction, the PTO Is Not Entitled to Chevron Deference in Interpreting This Statute

The Supreme Court recently addressed Chevron deference and held that such deference applies to an agency’s determination of its own jurisdiction, but only when the agency has been granted the authority to make that determination in the first place. City of Arlington, Texas v. FCC, No. 11-1545, slip op. at 16 (S. Ct. May 20, 2013) (addressing application of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural 46

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Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984)). Thus, Chevron deference does not apply to actions taken by an agency that are outside its statutory authority. Id. at 15 (“[F]or Chevron deference to apply, the agency must have received congressional authority to determine the particular matter at issue in the particular manner adopted.”). Congress gave the PTO authority only to “establish regulations, not inconsistent with law, which . . . shall govern the conduct of proceedings in the Office.” 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2)(A) (emphasis added). Thus, the PTO has rulemaking authority that is limited to procedural rules that are consistent with the law. Here, Congress has spoken directly to the jurisdiction issue and made clear that a party may appeal to the Board only issues that it raised in its own reexamination request. Id. § 315. Thus, Chevron deference is unwarranted, as Congress’s intent was clear and the Board does not have statutory authority to change that. Even if this Court were to apply Chevron deference, the PTO’s interpretation of section 315 in this case is unreasonable because it would lead to the absurd result that a third-party requester could appeal issues even in separate, unmerged reexaminations requested by other parties. Indeed, under the Board’s apparent interpretation of 35 U.S.C. § 315(b)(2), a requester who challenged a patent owner’s patent in an inter partes reexamination would automatically have the right to “be a party to any appeal taken by the patent owner” (emphasis added) 47

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to this Court, even if that appeal concerned an entirely different patent and a different requester. Chevron simply does not allow such absurd statutory

interpretations. Chevron, 467 U.S. at 843-44 (requiring reasonable construction of statute). Indeed, such an interpretation of section 315(b)(2) would exceed the constitutional bounds of standing by allowing a third-party requester to be a party to “any appeal taken by the patent owner” (emphasis added) even if that requester has suffered no harm and has no property interests at stake in the appeal. Cf. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992) (to establish Article III standing, a petitioner must show that he has “suffered an ‘injury in fact’” that is caused by “the conduct complained of” and that “will be ‘redressed by a favorable decision’” (citations omitted)). The “avoidance doctrine” counsels strongly against any such interpretation. See United States v. Jin Fuey Moy, 241 U.S. 394, 401 (1916) (“A statute must be construed, if fairly possible, so as to avoid not only the conclusion that it is unconstitutional but also grave doubts upon that score.”); accord Almendarez-Torres v. United States, 523 U.S. 224, 237-38 (1998).

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4.

Allowing Micron to Step Into Samsung’s Shoes by Appealing Samsung’s Reexamination Arguments Violates the Statutory Prohibition Against a Party Instituting Simultaneous Inter Partes Reexaminations of the Same Patent

After the PTO has issued an order for inter partes reexamination of a patent in response to a request by a third party, 35 U.S.C. § 317(a) prohibits the same third-party requester or its privies from filing subsequent requests for inter partes reexamination of the same patent until the PTO has issued a reexamination certificate in the pending reexamination proceeding. See 35 U.S.C. § 317(a)

(2002). The clear purpose of section 317(a) is to prohibit a third-party requester from requesting and participating in more than one inter partes reexamination of a patent at a time. Thus, once the PTO granted Micron’s request to institute Reexamination Control No. 95/001,131, Micron was statutorily prohibited from requesting another inter partes reexamination of the ’285 patent until its first requested reexamination was fully resolved. The Board’s decision to allow Micron to become a party to Rambus’s appeal of rejections from Samsung’s reexamination, solely because of merger, violates this statutory prohibition by effectively allowing Micron to simultaneously participate in two reexaminations of the ’285 patent—its own (No. 95/001,131) and Samsung’s (No. 95/001,106). Section 317(a) clearly

prohibits an interpretation of the PTO’s merger regulation that would result in a 49

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third-party requester being rewarded with two simultaneous bites of the reexamination apple. See 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2) (2003) (permitting PTO rulemaking only to the extent it is “not inconsistent with law”). 5. The Board Could Not Have Created Jurisdiction over Micron’s Appeal by Entering “New Grounds of Rejection” of Claims 15 and 16

As this Court has explained, if a party lacked standing to bring its case, the Board similarly lacked jurisdiction over the case. Rite-Hite Corp. v. Kelley Co., 56 F.3d 1538, 1551 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (“The question of standing to sue is a jurisdictional one . . . .”); Syntex (U.S.A.) Inc. v. USPTO, 882 F.2d 1570, 1573, 1576 (Fed. Cir. 1989) (determining that requester in ex parte reexamination had no standing to challenge procedure and dismissing complaint for lack of jurisdiction). Contrary to the Board’s holding that it “has discretion to enter new grounds of rejection regardless of the initial source for the new grounds” (A32), if Micron had not appealed claims 15 and 16 to the Board because it lacked standing, the Board could not have independently entered rejections of those claims. This is different from a situation in which the Board applies new grounds of rejection to properly appealed claims. See 37 C.F.R. §§ 41.50(b), 41.77(b). Here, claims 15 and 16 would not have been appealed at all, but for Micron’s improper appeal. See supra § V.A.1-2; cf. 4 Donald S. Chisum, Chisum on Patents § 11.06(1)(c)(i) (in ex parte appeal, “[i]t is implicit from Section 134 that the Board’s statutory 50

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review power extends only to claim rejections (i.e. ‘adverse decisions’)”). The Board would not have seen Micron’s arguments on those claims and therefore could not have entered “new grounds of rejection.” The patent statute created the Board for the sole purpose of reviewing what has properly been appealed to it. See 35 U.S.C. § 6(b) (1999) (“The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences shall, on written appeal of an applicant, review adverse decisions of examiners upon applications for patents . . . .”) (emphases added) (revised under AIA after this case had been decided); see also Watson v. Bruns, 239 F.2d 948, 949-50 (D.C. Cir. 1956) (interpreting same language, then contained in 35 U.S.C. § 7, as creating the Board “for the sole purpose of passing upon adverse action by the primary examiner” (emphasis added)); In re Stepan Co., 660 F.3d 1341, 1344-45 (Fed. Cir. 2011). Thus, the Board has no authority to enter “new grounds of rejection” for claims that have not been properly appealed to it.

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B.

The Board Erred in Reversing the Examiner’s Finding that Bennett Does Not Disclose “a Value Which is Representative of the Programmable Number of Clock Cycles” 1. Standards of Review a. Factual Findings of the Board Are Reviewed for Substantial Evidence Based on the Entire Record, Including Any Findings of Fact Made by the Examiner

This Court reviews factual findings of the Board for substantial evidence, based on a review that is “confined to the factual record compiled by the Board.” In re Gartside, 203 F.3d 1305, 1315 (Fed. Cir. 2000). “Under the substantial evidence standard of review, [the Court] search[es] for evidence, clearly set forth in the record below, to justify the conclusions that the Board has drawn.” Brand v. Miller, 487 F.3d 862, 868 (Fed. Cir. 2007). This Court has also “expressly held that the Board’s opinion must explicate its factual conclusions, enabling [the Court] to verify readily whether those conclusions are indeed supported by ‘substantial evidence’ contained within the record.” Gartside, 203 F.3d at 1314 (citing Gechter v. Davidson, 116 F.3d 1454, 1460 (Fed. Cir. 1997)). The record in an inter partes reexamination proceeding includes any findings of fact made by the examiner. Thus, regardless of whether the Board incorporates or adopts the examiner’s findings in its opinion, all of the examiner’s findings must be considered part of the record on appeal and must be given appropriate weight in determining whether the Board’s decision is supported by substantial 52

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evidence. Id. at 1312 (“‘[S]ubstantial evidence’ review involves examination of the record as a whole, taking into account evidence that both justifies and detracts from an agency’s decision.” (emphases added) (citing Universal Camera Corp. v. NLRB, 340 U.S. 474, 487-88 (1951))); see also St. Clair Intellectual Pro. Consultants, Inc. v. Canon Inc., 412 F. App’x 270, 276 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (unpublished) (stating that “an examiner in reexamination can be considered one of ordinary skill in the art”). b. The Board’s Claim Construction Is Reviewed de Novo, and Its Anticipation Finding Is Reviewed for Substantial Evidence

“[C]laim construction by the PTO is a question of law that [this Court] review[s] de novo . . . .” In re Baker Hughes Inc., 215 F.3d 1297, 1301 (Fed. Cir. 2000). “Anticipation is a question of fact reviewed for substantial evidence.” In re Suitco Surface, Inc., 603 F.3d 1255, 1259 (Fed. Cir. 2010). “Implicit in

[the Court’s] review of the Board’s anticipation analysis is that the claim must first have been correctly construed to define the scope and meaning of each contested limitation.” Gechter, 116 F.3d at 1457 (citing In re Paulsen, 30 F.3d 1475, 1479 (Fed. Cir. 1994)).

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2.

The Board Implicitly Misconstrued “Representative” as Requiring Only the Ability to Affect the “Number of Clock Cycles”

There has never been any dispute in this proceeding that the value of configuration parameter VI in Bennett (i.e., the wait-line value) can tangentially affect the number of clock cycles that transpire during a write request. (See, e.g., A1074-75.) The claims, however, require a stored, programmable value that is “representative” of the number of clock cycles between the receipt of a write request and the sampling of data in response to that request. Just because

something can affect a number of clock cycles does not mean it represents that number of clock cycles. For instance, the number of fouls in a basketball game can affect how long the game lasts, but simply knowing the number of fouls that occurred in a particular game does not indicate how long the game actually lasted. Thus, it is important to properly construe the term “representative” in claim 15 before turning to the question of anticipation. As this Court has held, “the statement that one item ‘represents’ another cannot be interpreted so broadly as to include any case in which the two items are related in some way.” Tehrani v. Hamilton Med., Inc., 331 F.3d 1355, 1361 (Fed. Cir. 2003). Instead, to be

“representative,” a value “must be directly related to and stand for, or be a reasonable proxy for, the latter item.” Id. This, in fact, is the ordinary meaning of “representative.” 54

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The intrinsic evidence of the ’285 patent is fully consistent with the ordinary meaning of “representative.” For instance, the ’285 patent describes access-time registers 173 as a place to “store a set of one or more delay times at which the device can or should be available to send or receive data.” (A80[6:37-39]

(emphasis added).) This makes clear that the purpose of the access-time register is to enable interleaved transactions by storing the actual number of clock cycles (or values representing them)—not tangential values like the number and configuration of wait lines in Bennett, which are not used for the purpose of interleaving transactions and have nothing to do with the concept of predetermined delay times. Likewise, the ’285 patent explains that, as part of a read or write request, “the timing of the response . . . is stored in an access-time register, AccessRegN.” (A82[9:58-59].) Again, this makes clear that the access-time register stores actual numbers of clock cycles (or values representing them), corresponding to the actual “timing of the response” of a given memory device. As explained in the ’285 patent, this access-time information is needed to allow the claimed synchronous memory system to “interleave” multiple read/write requests, thereby improving overall efficiency. (A81[7:8-12].) By storing these values in the device access-time register, the controller and the device both know precisely how long it will take for a given memory device to respond to a 55

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read/write request (e.g., how many bus cycles). With this value, the controller knows how long it may use the bus for other memory transactions before the previously tasked memory device will begin sampling data. (Id.) The ’285 patent even provides examples of access-time values that can be used in the claimed invention: The value stored in a slave access-time register 173 is preferably one-half the number of bus cycles for which the slave device should wait before using the bus in response to a request. Thus an access time value of ‘1’ would indicate that the slave should not access the bus until at least two cycles after the last byte of the request packet has been received. (A85[16:2-8].) This preferred numbering scheme for access-time values is directly correlated to the number of clock cycles that will transpire between the receipt of a read/write request and the start of the memory device’s response. Again, this is consistent with the ordinary meaning of “representative,” as explained in Tehrani, i.e., a value that is “directly related to and stand[s] for, or [is] a reasonable proxy for, the latter item.” 331 F.3d at 1361. Despite the ordinary meaning and clear specification support to the contrary, the Board implicitly construed the phrase “a value which is representative of the programmable number of clock cycles” in claims 15 and 16 to mean a value that can affect the number of clock cycles. This is evident from the Board’s analysis, which merely compared the hypothetical effect of two “simplified” transactions 56

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across two respective configurations of Bennett’s Versatile Bus, differing only in the wait-line parameter (i.e., assuming all else remained precisely the same). At most, the Board was only able to conclude that making this particular change would result in a one-clock-cycle difference from whatever the transaction timing was before. But simply knowing that a multiplexed wait line will result in X+1 clock cycles instead of X clock cycles says nothing as to what X is, and it is the value of X (i.e., the actual number of clock cycles that will transpire) that is important in the ’285 patent. Thus, the Board’s implicit construction of

“representative” is legally erroneous. Indeed, the Board’s interpretation of “representative” is particularly nonsensical in view of the teachings of the ’285 patent. See Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1313 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) (holding that claim limitations are construed “not only in the context of the particular claim in which the disputed term appears, but in the context of the entire patent, including the specification”). The whole purpose of storing values in access-time register 173 in the ’285 patent is to allow a controlled device to know immediately and with precision when to sample the data corresponding to a write request. (A85[15:6316:8].) If the “access-time value” is only one of multiple dependencies that all affect data sample timing (as the Board’s construction would allow), the system would not work properly by referring just to that value, and the memory devices 57

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could store incorrect data. (See, e.g., A85[16:1-2] (“If this condition [i.e., having the correct access time stored] is not met, the slave may not deliver the correct data.”).) As a matter of law, a construction which inhibits the operation of the claimed invention “should be viewed with extreme skepticism.” Talbert Fuel Sys. Patents Co. v. Unocal Corp., 275 F.3d 1371, 1376 (Fed. Cir.) (citation omitted), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 537 U.S. 802 (2002). 3. Under the Correct Claim Construction, the Board’s Findings Lack Substantial Evidence and Are Clearly Rebutted by the Examiner’s Contrary Findings

The Board did not rebut the examiner’s finding that the same wait-line setting of 3 in configuration value VI of Bennett “causes different delays” in the transactions illustrated in Figures 25b, 35, and 36. (A40.) Although the Board incorrectly dismissed this fact as allegedly irrelevant, it did not dispute it. As the examiner correctly found, these examples are sufficient to show that the wait-line setting in configuration value VI of Bennett “is not ‘representative’ of a number of clock cycles [before data is sampled] since the number of wait lines does not correlate to a specific number of clock cycles.” (A1079 (emphasis in original).) The Board’s sole basis for reversing this finding is that Figures 25b and 36 are allegedly “different embodiments,” and anticipation need only be shown by a “single configured embodiment.” (A40.) This basis, however, ignores the

proper construction of the delay-time limitation, is not supported by substantial 58

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evidence, and is internally inconsistent. Essentially, the Board focused on how one particular configuration value in Bennett affects hypothetical data timing between artificially “simplified,” generic configurations (Figures 25a-h), while refusing to consider other variables (such as arbitration, pin configuration, address block size, etc.) that can also affect that timing in an actual memory transaction. Regarding the Board’s contention that Figures 25b, 35, and 36 of Bennett are different “embodiments,” this is only true in the same sense that Figures 25a-h can be considered different “embodiments,” i.e., they employ different configuration settings for the Versatile Bus. Each of these configurations,

however, is within the preferred “envelope” outlined in Figure 3 and is fully compatible with that preferred configuration. (See A1439-40[78:68-79:10]

(identifying the configuration of Figure 36 as being “supported by 55255355 preferred embodiment”).) Thus, Figures 25b and 36 are simply two of the “31,045 different allowable configurations of the preferred embodiment of the [Bennett] invention.” (A1420[39:18-20].) Each of these configurations uses the same

configuration matrix illustrated in Figure 3. For example, the “3” setting for parameter VI in the 43153355 configuration (Figure 36) has the exact same meaning as it does in configuration 122123XX (Figure 25b). In both cases, the “3” in parameter VI means the bus has been configured to have one dedicated wait line. (See A1149[Fig. 3].) 59

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As the examiner correctly found, simply knowing that the Versatile Bus in Bennett has one dedicated wait line does not indicate precisely how many clock cycles will elapse between a transaction request and the corresponding data sampling for any given memory transaction. For instance, in the transactions illustrated in Figures 25b and 36, there are two different sampling times, despite configuration parameter VI being set to “3” in both cases. The Board did not, and cannot, explain how the same stored value can result in two different sampling times and yet still be considered “representative” of both. The Board instead deflected this inconsistency by holding that Rambus’s comparison of the same digit 3 paired with different delays in different configurations “simply does not defeat the anticipation by any single configured embodiment of Figures 25a-h.” (A40.) But the Board itself did not rely on a “single configured embodiment.” Instead, it relied exclusively on comparing

different so-called “configured embodiments” (i.e., Versatile Bus configurations) to support its position (i.e., comparing the hypothetical timing in the simplified transactions of Figures 25a-h), while refusing to consider other variables that can also affect timing. The Board’s comparison of the hypothetical transactions in Figures 25a-h is insufficient because it ignores that other transactions in other bus configurations within Bennett’s preferred “envelope” do not result in the same sampling time, even when they have the same wait-line configuration. It was 60

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improper for the Board, for instance, to cherry-pick two hypothetical transactions in two hypothetical bus configurations in Bennett (e.g., Figures 25a and 25b) and conclude therefrom that the wait-line value is “representative” of the sampling time, while ignoring that other transactions in other bus configurations that are equally within Bennett’s preferred embodiment (e.g., Figure 36) have the same wait-line value but different sampling times. Stated differently, the Board cannot rely on comparing different “configured embodiments” (e.g., Figures 25a-h) to support its position while ignoring other configurations within Bennett’s preferred embodiment (e.g., Figure 36) on the ground that they are different “configured embodiments.” Moreover, the Board overlooked that Figures 25a-h illustrate only generic, hypothetical transactions on a Versatile Bus that are presented in an artificial manner in order to “simplify” their presentation: The timing of transactions on the Versatile Bus for the eight possible configurations of pin multiplexing is shown in FIGS. 25a-25h. . . . In order to simplify presentation of timing concepts[,] all Arbitration, Slave Identification/Function, and Data activities are assumed to be but one cycle. (A1443[85:11-19] (emphases added).) In an actual memory transaction, however, these “simplified” assumptions are not always true, as shown, for instance, in Figure 36.

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Figure 36, an actual Bennett memory write transaction (unlike Figures 25ah), illustrates the disconnect between the wait-line configuration and the time between request and data in Bennett. In Figure 36, there is one dedicated wait line (parameter VI set to 3) and the bus is configured to use 16 data lines. (A1439[79:6-7], A1448[96:19-24].) Since the memory must know where to write the data, the address information must be transmitted from the user to the memory. And, because the address in the example shown in Figure 36 is 32-bits (A1448[95:58-60]), it consumes two clock cycles on the 16-bit data lines. Only after the address is transmitted can the data proceed across the 16 data lines, fully two clock cycles after the write request. However, if the bus were configured with less than 16 data lines, such as eight (a configuration also within the preferred embodiment envelope of Figure 3), then four clock cycles, not two, would elapse between the request and the data sampling. Conversely, if the address were only 16-bits in the Figure 36 configuration, then only one clock cycle would transpire prior to data sampling. These differences in sampling time occur even though the wait-line configuration has not changed (i.e., it is set to 3 for all of these scenarios). Thus, if the same wait-line configuration (indeed, one that causes no delay itself due to wait signaling being on a dedicated line) can result in different times between request and data, then the wait-line configuration cannot be said to “represent” the time between request and data. Tehrani, 331 F.3d at 1361. 62

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Contrary to the Board’s unfounded assumption, the hypothetical, simplified configurations illustrated in Figures 25a-h are not representative of all memory transactions that can occur in Bennett’s Versatile Bus configurations, and they certainly cannot be used to show any sort of stored, programmable delay time that will be applicable to all write transactions on the bus. At best, the wait-line configuration in Bennett may affect the timing of a write transaction, but it does not, by itself, predict or “represent” that timing. In short, the Board conflated the concept of affecting timing with the claimed requirement that the stored, programmable values “represent” the number of clock cycles between a write request and the corresponding sampling of data. Bennett’s “stupendous” configurability (A1440[79:32]) defeats any possibility that just one of its parameters will serve as a consistent proxy for data timing. And Bennett simply fails to teach any such relationship. The Board’s hindsight

application of the reference in a way that is unsupported by any record evidence from one of skill in the art must necessarily fail. Brand, 487 F.3d at 868. VI. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, this Court should vacate the Board’s decision with instructions to dismiss Micron’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Alternatively, this Court should properly construe the claims, reverse the Board’s decision

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finding claims 15 and 16 of the ’285 patent anticipated by Bennett, and reinstate the examiner’s finding that claims 15 and 16 are allowable over Bennett.

Dated: June 27, 2013

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ James R. Barney J. Michael Jakes James R. Barney Molly R. Silfen Aidan C. Skoyles FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER, LLP 901 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 (202) 408-4000 Attorneys for Appellant Rambus Inc.

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CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE I certify that the foregoing BRIEF FOR RAMBUS INC. contains 13,603 words as measured by the word-processing software used to prepare this brief.

Dated: June 27, 2013

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ James R. Barney J. Michael Jakes James R. Barney Molly R. Silfen Aidan C. Skoyles FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER, LLP 901 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 (202) 408-4000

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that I electronically filed the foregoing BRIEF FOR RAMBUS INC. using the Court’s CM/ECF filing system. Counsel registered with the

CM/ECF system have been served by operation of the Court’s CM/ECF SYSTEM per Fed. R. App. P. 25 and Fed. Cir. R. 25(c) on this 27th day of June, 2013: Henry A. Petri, Jr. Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg, LLP 1875 Eye Street, NW, 11th Floor Washington, DC 20001 henry.petri@novakdruce.com

/s/ Bonita Ford

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