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`
`NOTE: This disposition is nonprecedential.
`
`United States Court of Appeals
`for the Federal Circuit
`______________________
`
`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC.,
`Appellant
`
`v.
`
`PANDUIT CORP.,
`Appellee
`______________________
`
`2018-1733, 2018-1734
`______________________
`
`Appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark
`Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in Nos. IPR2016-
`01647, IPR2016-01648.
`______________________
`
`Decided: July 19, 2019
`______________________
`
`JOHN C. O'QUINN, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Washington,
`DC, argued for appellant. Also represented by HANNAH
`LAUREN BEDARD, JASON M. WILCOX; ERIC DAVID HAYES,
`Chicago, IL.
`
` JOHN J. MOLENDA, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, New York,
`NY, argued for appellee. Also represented by ROBERT
`GREENFELD; KELLY J. EBERSPECHER, DANIEL STEVEN
`STRINGFIELD, Chicago, IL; KATHERINE DOROTHY CAPPAERT,
`Washington, DC.
`
`

`

`2
`
`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC. v. PANDUIT CORP.
`
` ______________________
`
`Before TARANTO, MAYER, and CHEN, Circuit Judges.
`CHEN, Circuit Judge.
`Patent Owner CCS Technology Inc. (CCS) appeals from
`the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal
`Board (Board) in two inter partes reviews finding unpatent-
`able claims 1–3 and 8–10 of CCS’s U.S. Patent No.
`6,869,227 (’227 patent) and claims 1 and 2 of U.S. Patent
`No. 6,758,600 (’600 patent) as anticipated by Japanese Pa-
`tent No. H11-160542 (Toyooka), as well as finding claims 1
`and 2 of the ’600 patent obvious in view of Toyooka and
`U.S. Patent No. 6,604,866 (Kang).
`Because we agree with the Board’s claim constructions
`and conclude that the Board’s findings are supported by
`substantial evidence, we affirm.
`A. BACKGROUND
`The ’227 and ’600 patents are related patents that
`share a virtually identical specification and are both di-
`rected to systems for managing bi-directional fiber optic
`communications. See ’227 patent col. 1 ll. 11–13; ’600 pa-
`tent col. 1 ll. 7–9. At issue in this appeal is the proper con-
`struction of a claim term that appears in substantially
`identical form in each of the challenged independent
`claims: “optical ribbon” (’227 patent) and “optical fiber rib-
`bon” (’600 patent). Claim 1 of the ’227 patent is representa-
`tive and is directed to a universal breakout harness for
`reversing the polarity of optical fibers. The universal
`breakout harness carries optical signals from a source to a
`target by sending and receiving data sent as light through
`the optical fibers of the optical ribbons. Claim 1 of the ’227
`patent reads as follows:
`1. A universal breakout harness for reversing the
`polarity of optical fibers, comprising:
`
`

`

`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC. v. PANDUIT CORP.
`
`3
`
`a multi-fiber connector with multiple optical paths
`formed therein, the optical paths being arranged in
`a generally planar array with each optical path be-
`ing immediately adjacent to at least one other opti-
`cal path;
`a plurality of optical fibers of an optical ribbon dis-
`posed in the optical paths formed in the multi-fiber
`connector; and
`a plurality of optical fiber connectors disposed op-
`posite the multi-fiber connector, the plurality of op-
`tical fiber connectors defining a plurality of pairs of
`optical paths for receiving the optical fibers of the
`optical ribbon;
`wherein the optical fibers of the optical ribbon are
`separated and routed between the optical paths
`formed in the multi-fiber connector and the pairs of
`optical paths defined by the plurality of optical fi-
`ber connectors; and
`wherein the optical fibers in at least one of the
`pairs of optical paths defined by the plurality of op-
`tical fiber connectors are selected from optical fi-
`bers disposed in optical paths formed in the multi-
`fiber connector that are not immediately adjacent
`to each other.
`’227 patent col. 4 ll. 33–54 (emphases added).
`
`The Board construed the “optical ribbon” limitation
`(and corresponding “optical fiber ribbon” limitation of the
`’600 patent) to “encompass[] optical fibers that are bonded
`together in a generally planar array or optical fibers that
`are grouped and aligned in a generally planar array.” J.A.
`19 (emphases added). The Board found that Toyooka de-
`scribes the subject matter of the optical ribbon limitations
`under its construction. J.A. 49.
`
`

`

`4
`
`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC. v. PANDUIT CORP.
`
`CCS argues on appeal that the Board erred in conclud-
`ing that the optical ribbon limitations encompass individ-
`ual fibers that are not necessarily bound together.
`According to CCS, the optical ribbon limitations are not so
`broad that they encompass fibers that are merely “grouped
`and aligned in a generally planar array.” We have juris-
`diction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(4)(A).
`B. DISCUSSION
`As the parties agree, in this matter the Board was
`charged with construing claims in accordance with the
`broadest reasonable interpretation consistent with the
`specification. Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, ––– U.S. –
`–––, 136 S. Ct. 2131, 2142 (2016). We review the Board’s
`ultimate claim construction de novo and any underlying
`factual determinations involving extrinsic evidence for
`substantial evidence. Teva Pharm. U.S.A., Inc. v. Sandoz,
`Inc., –––U.S. ––––, 135 S. Ct. 831, 841–42 (2015). The
`principle that the same limitation in different claims of the
`same patent or related patents should carry the same con-
`strued meaning is a strong one, overcome only if it is clear
`that the same limitation has different meanings in differ-
`ent claims. In re Varma, 816 F.3d 1352, 1363 (Fed. Cir.
`2016); Omega Eng’g, Inc, v. Raytek Corp., 334 F.3d 1314,
`1334 (Fed. Cir. 2003).
`CCS believes the optical ribbon limitations should be
`construed to mean “a group of optical fibers that are coated
`with a ribbon common layer.” To support this construction,
`CCS refers to the specification’s statement that “[a]n opti-
`cal ribbon includes a group of optical fibers that are coated
`with a ribbon common layer.” ’227 patent col. 1, ll. 18–19
`(emphasis added); ’600 patent col. 1, ll. 14–15 (same). CCS
`argues the word “includes” is definitional rather than illus-
`trative.
`Upon reading the entire patent, we decline CCS’s invi-
`tation to read “ribbon common layer” into the optical ribbon
`limitations. The claims do not recite a ribbon common
`
`

`

`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC. v. PANDUIT CORP.
`
`5
`
`layer coating. As the Board pointed out, other references
`in the specification indicate that the fibers of an “optical
`ribbon” do not need to be bound together by a ribbon com-
`mon layer. J.A. 13–18 (citing ’227 patent col. 3 ll. 30–33,
`col. 4 l. 65–col. 5 l. 4, FIG. 2). Specifically, the Board relied
`on claim 3 of the ’227 patent, reproduced in pertinent part
`below, which recites an “optical ribbon” that encompasses
`individual fibers:
`installing one end of the optical ribbon into a multi-
`fiber connector with the optical fibers of the optical
`ribbon arranged in sequential number from left to
`right; and
`installing the other end of the optical ribbon into a
`plurality of optical fiber connectors with the optical
`fibers of the optical ribbon arranged in reverse se-
`quential number from left to right.
`’227 patent col. 4 l. 65–col. 5 l. 4 (emphasis added). The
`claimed recitation of “the other end of the optical ribbon”
`corresponds to the fibers between multi-fiber connector 40
`and connector stations 51–56 in Figure 2:
`
`

`

`6
`
`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC. v. PANDUIT CORP.
`
`Id. at FIG. 2. The specification only describes interconnect-
`ing the multi-fiber connector 40 and connector stations 51–
`56 with individual fibers. See, e.g., id. at col. 3 ll. 30–33.
`As depicted in Figure 2, the individual fibers that intercon-
`nect the multi-fiber connector 40 and connector stations
`51–56 are not bound together by a ribbon common layer.
`See id. at FIG. 2. Thus, CCS’s proposed construction does
`not comport with claim 3 and the specification’s disclosure
`of interconnecting the multi-fiber connector and connector
`stations with unattached fibers. Id. at col. 3 ll. 30–33, col.
`4 l. 65–col. 5 l. 4, FIG. 2. Limiting the optical ribbon limi-
`tations to only those optical ribbons with a ribbon common
`layer, as suggested by CCS, would improperly exclude the
`disclosed embodiment of Figure 2. This court has clarified
`that an interpretation which “excludes a [disclosed] embod-
`iment from the scope of the claim is rarely, if ever, correct.”
`Accent Pkg., Inc. v. Leggett & Platt, Inc., 707 F.3d 1318,
`1326 (Fed. Cir. 2013); see Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d
`1303, 1312–13 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc).
`CCS acknowledged at oral argument that, as to claim
`3 of the ’227 patent, the claimed recitation of “installing the
`
`

`

`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC. v. PANDUIT CORP.
`
`7
`
`other end of the optical ribbon into a plurality of optical
`fiber connectors” requires “separat[ing] out the fibers to do
`that.” Oral Argument at 34:17–24. This confirms that the
`optical fibers need not be bound together by a ribbon com-
`mon layer to be an “optical ribbon” as recited in claim 3.
`J.A. 18.
`CCS contends that the Board’s construction of the op-
`tical ribbon limitations eliminates two supposed “key ad-
`vantages of the invention[]” stemming from the use of
`ribbon common layer: protecting the individual fibers and
`densely packing the fibers into a small space. CCS’s first
`advantage is based on the specification’s description that
`the ribbon common layer “may be of the ultraviolent (UV)
`light curable type” that “protects the optical fibers.” ’227
`patent col. 1 ll. 18–27. CCS does not provide any compel-
`ling reason why the claims are limited to embodiments
`with this optional feature. Further the specification de-
`scribes the multi-fiber connector 40, rather than the optical
`ribbon, as providing the “high density in a small space.” Id.
`col. 2 l. 59–col. 3 l. 5.
`Lastly, CCS relies on definitions in technical dictionar-
`ies to argue that the optical ribbon requires a common layer
`to bond individual fibers together. The Board found this
`evidence to be not particularly useful in determining the
`broadest reasonable interpretation of the optical ribbon
`limitations in light of the intrinsic record discussed above.
`We agree that these technical dictionaries do not overcome
`the intrinsic evidence contained in the ’227 patent. We
`therefore agree with the Board that the broadest reasona-
`ble interpretation of the optical ribbon limitations must en-
`compass optical fibers that are grouped and aligned in a
`generally planar array, and thus conclude that the specifi-
`cation’s usage of “includes” is best understood as introduc-
`ing an illustrative example, in the context of this patent.
`
`

`

`8
`
`CCS TECHNOLOGY, INC. v. PANDUIT CORP.
`
`CCS’s remaining arguments raised in its briefs relate
`to whether Toyooka discloses the subject matter of the op-
`tical ribbon limitations under CCS’s proposed construction.
`Having determined that the Board correctly construed the
`optical ribbon limitations, we need not address CCS’s re-
`maining arguments. We conclude that the Board’s findings
`as to how the claim limitations involving the optical ribbon
`limitations are disclosed in Toyooka are supported by sub-
`stantial evidence. We accordingly affirm the Board’s deci-
`sion as to unpatentability of the claims at issue.
`AFFIRMED
`
`

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