By Eric SchweibenzOn March 21, 2013, ALJ Thomas B. Pender issued Order No. 8 construing the disputed terms of the asserted patent claims in Certain Electronic Devices, Including Mobile Phones and Tablet Computers, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-847).
By way of background, the investigation is based on a complaint filed by Nokia; Nokia, Inc.; and Intellisync Corporation (collectively, “Nokia”) alleging violation of Section 337 by HTC; HTC America, Inc.; and Exedea, Inc. (collectively, “HTC”) in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain electronic devices that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,570,369; 5,884,190 (the ‘190 patent); 6,141,664 the ‘664 patent); 6,393,260; 6,728,530; 7,106,293 (the ‘293 patent); 7,209,911 (the ‘911 patent); 7,366,529; and 7,415,247 (the ‘247 patent). See our June 7, 2012 post for more details on this investigation. On August 7, 2012, Google, Inc. (“Google”) was granted status as an Intervenor, but denied status as a respondent. See our August 10, 2012 post for more details. A Markman hearing was held on January 22–23, 2013.
The ‘293 Patent
The only claim term disputed in the ‘293 patent was “light guide.” ALJ Pender agreed with Nokia that the term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning because the language of the claims adequately define and limit the claim term. Additionally, ALJ Pender agreed with HTC’s arguments that the term should have a directional limitation. ALJ Pender held that a directionality limitation is inherently included in the plain and ordinary meaning of the term because all of the claims require the light guide to transmit the ambient light to the light sensitive component.
The ‘664 Patent
The ‘664 patent discloses two synchronization claim terms “synchronizing across the narrow date range” and “synchronizing at least one of the identified date bearing records of the first database with one of the date bearing records of the second database.” ALJ Pender gave both synchronization claim terms their plain and ordinary meaning. ALJ Pender rejected Nokia’s arguments that “synchronizing” can occur outside the narrow date range because the intrinsic record clearly and unmistakably established that the claims at issue only apply to events that occur within the narrow date range.
The other disputed claim term from the ‘664 patent was “user specified date.” ALJ Pender agreed with Nokia and construed the claim term to mean “a date based on user input.” ALJ Pender rejected Google’s argument that the date needs to be directly specified by a user. ALJ Pender pointed out specific examples used in the specification where the date is based on user input and not directly specified by the user.
The ‘911 Patent
The ‘911 patent discloses “synchronization is performed for a subset of records of the databases.” ALJ Pender rejected Nokia’s construction because it was disavowed in the prosecution history of the patent. Additionally, ALJ Pender held that Google’s definition went too far by including the word “limit” in its definition. Accordingly, ALJ Pender rejected the constructions proposed by the parties and construed the term to mean “a two-way process by which two or more databases are made consistent with one another for a subset of records of the databases matching the specified conditions or criteria.”
The ‘190 Patent
The ‘190 patent discloses “a plurality of mobile communication networks” and “setting the data transmission via the selected operation.”
As to the first claim term, “a plurality of mobile communication networks,” ALJ Pender agreed with Nokia and gave the term its plain and ordinary meaning. ALJ Pender rejected Google and HTC’s attempt to include a limitation that requires both an analog and digital communication network because Google and HTC’s construction would render the preamble meaningless.
Regarding the second term, “setting the data transmission via the selected operation,” ALJ Pender agreed with Nokia and gave the term its plain and ordinary meaning.
The ‘247 Patent
The ‘247 patent discloses “one and the same amplifier for signal to be transmitted to at least two different radio interfaces” and “transmitter amplifier is common for amplifying carrier signals for transmission to at least two different radio interfaces.” ALJ Pender construed “one and the same amplifier for signals to be transmitted to at least two different radio interfaces” as requiring “one amplifier for signals to be transmitted to one or more different radio interfaces.” Additionally, ALJ Pender construed the phrase “transmitter amplifier is common for amplifying carrier signals for transmission to at least two different radio interfaces” as requiring “one transmitter amplifier for amplifying carrier signals for transmission to one or more different radio interfaces.”