Law \ Legal

DoggyPhone v Furbo | Patently-O

by Dennis Crouch

Andrew Davis is an ophthalmologist in Bellevue.  In his spare time he invents canine communication devices and treat dispensers.  Figure 9 below comes from his US9723813 (2012 priority date).

You can buy something similar from Amazon – the Furbo dog camera.

DoggyPhone has sued Tomofun (maker of Furbo) for patent infringement. DoggyPhone LLC v. Tomofun, LLC., 19-cv-1901 (W.D. Wa. 2022).  Tomofun petitioned for inter partes review (IPR) on five separate grounds.  However, the PTAB denied institution, after finding that the asserted prior art failed to teach all of the claimed elements in the proper combination. (IPR2021-00260 DoggyPhone).  The district court had stayed litigation pending outcome of the IPR.  Now though the case is up and running again with jury trial set for January 2023.

The district court just issued claim construction, refusing to find any of the claim terms indefinite and giving all terms their ‘plain and ordinary meaning.’

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Asserted claim 7

7. A system for communicating with a pet, comprising:

a treat bin;

a food dispenser that dispenses treats from the treat bin;

an audio device;

a delivery module that: receives a treat delivery command; and in response to the received treat delivery command: dispenses via the food dispenser at least one treat from the treat bin; plays via audio device an audio signal that notifies the pet of availability of a treat; and receives input from the pet; and

a control that transmits to the delivery module a treat delivery command,

wherein the system: in response to a first communication command received from a user, transmits to the delivery module the treat delivery command; plays at least one of live audio or video received from the user of a remote client device; and transmits to the remote client device at least one of live audio or video of the pet, wherein the system begins transmission to the remote client device of at least one of the audio or video of the pet in response to input from the pet.

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