Bandai Namco Games America Inc.
for the Federal Circuit
is an exemplary claim from the ‘278 patent:
animating lip synchronization and facial expression of three-dimensional
rules that defines a morph weight set stream as a function of phoneme sequence
and times associated with said phoneme sequence;
sub-sequences of timed phonemes corresponding to a desired audio sequence for
said three-dimensional characters;
weight set stream by applying said first set of rules to each sub-sequence of
said plurality of sub-sequences of timed phonemes; and
weight set stream to an input sequence of animated characters to generate an
output sequence of animated characters with lip and facial expression
synchronized to said audio sequence.
alleged defendant Bandai infringed the patents-in-suit by using the
claimed methods for automatically animating lip synchronization of
defendants argued McRO’s lip-sync animation patents claimed only an abstract
idea under the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Alice decision, and therefore the
patents are invalid. McRO argued in the appeals court that the patents-in-suit
were not invalid under the Alice case. McRO stated its patents claim a
3-dimensional lip-sync animation. McRO argued that the steps in the patent
should be taken as a whole to determine patentability, rather than
Alice case held that a patent is valid if the invention improves existing
technological processes.We will be attending oral arguments at the court, and will report any significant updates.