11
Feb
By Alex Gasser
Further to our December 21, 2010 post, on January 26, 2011, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued the public version of the Initial Determination (dated December 16, 2010) (“ID”) in Certain Multimedia Display And Navigation Devices And Systems (337-TA-694).

By way of background, the Complainants in this investigation are Pioneer Corporation and Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. (collectively, “Pioneer”) and the Respondents are Garmin International, Inc. and Garmin Corp. (collectively, “Garmin”).  The three patents at issue, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,365,448 (the ‘448 patent), 5,424,951 (the ‘951 patent), and 6,122,592 (the ‘592 patent) relate to how information can be stored, retrieved, or displayed on Global Positioning System (“GPS”) navigation systems.

As discussed in more detail below, ALJ Charneski determined there was no violation of Section 337.  Specifically, ALJ Charneski determined that (i) Garmin’s accused products do not infringe the asserted claims of the ‘448 patent, ‘951 patent, and the ‘592 patent, (ii) Respondents did not show by clear and convincing evidence that any claim of the ‘592 patent is invalid due to obviousness or lack of written description, and (iii) Complainants satisfied the domestic industry requirement with respect to the asserted patents.

Claim Construction and Infringement

The ‘448 Patent

Pioneer asserted claims 1 and 2 of the ‘448 patent, which relate to an on-vehicle navigation apparatus in which destination coordinate data stored in a memory is erased when the distance from the present location to a destination is equal to or smaller than a predetermined value at the time the engine of a vehicle is started.  According to the ID, the constructions to all but the last element of claim 1 were disputed.

The first disputed term of the ‘448 patent was “detection means for detecting present-location coordinate data representing the present location of said vehicle.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this term is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean “detecting present-location coordinate data representing the present location of said vehicle.”  ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin’s and the Commission Investigative Staff’s (“OUII”) position that the corresponding structure for the first disputed term is a “processor programmed to determine present-location latitude and longitude data on the basis of a direction sensor, a distance sensor, and a Global Positioning System (GPS) device.”

As to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer had not satisfied this first claim element, because it had not shown that the GPS receivers in Garmin’s accused devices contain a “direction sensor” and “distance sensor” as required by the above construction.

The second disputed term was “means for acquiring destination coordinate data representing said destination in accordance with an operator input and storing said destination coordinate data in a memory.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean “acquiring destination coordinate data representing said destination in accordance with an operator input and storing said destination coordinate data in memory.”  ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin’s and the OUII’s position and determined that the corresponding structure for the second disputed term is:

“a central processing unit programmed according to the algorithm in Fig. 2, steps S1-S3 [as described below], and equivalents thereof

S1 - CPU first requests the selection of destination setting
S2 - CPU determines whether or not any designation has been made
S3 - if the destination has been designated, the CPU obtains the longitude and latitude data of the designated point from map data, and stores the obtained data as destination coordinate data (x0, y0) in the RAM.” 

As to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer satisfied this second claim element.

The third disputed term was “means for computing a distance from said present location to said destination on the basis of said present location coordinate data and said destination coordinate data.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean “computing a distance from said present location to said destination on the basis of said present-location coordinate data and said destination coordinate data.”  ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin’s and the OUII’s position and determined that the corresponding structure for the third disputed term is:

“a central processing unit programmed according to the algorithm in Fig. 3, steps S12-S14, [as described below], and equivalents thereof

S12 - CPU reads out the destination coordinate data from the RAM
S13 - CPU acquires present location coordinate data consisting of longitude and latitude data that represents the present location of the vehicle on the basis of the output data of the sensors 1 and 3
S14 - CPU calculates the distance and direction from the present location to the destination on the basis of the destination coordinate data and the present-location coordinate data.” 

As to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer satisfied this third claim element.

The fourth disputed term was “discriminating means for discriminating whether the computed distance is greater than a predetermined value.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean “discriminating whether the computed distance is greater than a predetermined value.”  ALJ Charneski again agreed with Garmin’s and the OUII’s position and determined that the corresponding structure for the fourth disputed term is:

“ a central processing unit programmed according to the algorithm in Fig. 4, steps S22- S25 [as described below] upon the start of the detection signal, and equivalents thereof

S22 - CPU acquires present-location coordinate data consisting of longitude and latitude data that represent the present location of the vehicle, on the basis of the output data of the sensors 1 and 3.
S23 - CPU reads out the latitude and longitude data of the destination, or the destination coordinate data from the RAM
S24 - CPU computes the distance from the present location to the destination on the basis of these present-location coordinate data and destination coordinate data.
S25 - CPU determines if the computed distance is equal to or smaller than a predetermined value.” 

As to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer satisfied this fourth claim element.

The fifth disputed term was “drive-source start detecting means for detecting start of a drive source of said vehicle and for generating a start detection signal.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the claimed function of the term was generally agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean “detecting start of a drive-source of said vehicle and generating a start detection signal.”   However, the parties disagreed what constitutes a “drive source” and a “start detection signal.”  ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin and OUII and determined that “drive source” meant an “engine or motor” and “start detection signal is “a signal indicating the start of an engine or motor.”   ALJ Charneski again agreed with Garmin and the OUII position that the structure for the fifth disputed term is a “detector that detects the on state of a starter switch such that the voltage supplied to a starter motor rises to or above a predetermined level or that detects the number of revolutions of an engine, the temperature of the engine coolant, or the amount of intake air, and that generates a signal when any of those parameters indicate the start of the engine or motor of a vehicle, and equivalents thereof.”

As to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer had not satisfied this fifth claim element, because it had not shown that Garmin’s accused devices have the ability to detect the start of an engine or a motor, as required by the above construction.

The sixth disputed term was “means for erasing said destination coordinate data from said memory when said computed distance is judged to be not greater than said predetermined value upon generation of said start detection signal.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean “erasing said destination coordinate data from said memory when said computed distance is judged to be not greater than said predetermined value upon generation of said start detection signal.”  ALJ Charneski again agreed with Garmin and the OUII position that the structure for the sixth disputed term is, “a central processing unit programmed to erase the destination coordinate data from the RAM after the algorithm of the discriminating means (Steps S22-S25 of FIG. 4, as described above) is met.”

As to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer had not satisfied this sixth claim element, because it had not shown that Garmin’s accused devices erase destination coordinate data from the memory when the computed distance to destination is less than a predetermined value upon the generation of a start detection signal.

As to the seventh and final element of the ‘448 patent, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer had shown that Garmin’s accused devices contained “display means for displaying at least one of said present location coordinate data and said destination coordinate data.”

The ‘951 Patent

Pioneer asserted claims 1 and 2 of the ‘951 patent, which are directed to an on-board navigation apparatus in which one of a plurality of service facilities displayed is designated by operator input, and the position coordinate data corresponding to a designated service facility is registered as a user position into a memory.

The first element and first disputed term of claim 1 of the ‘951 patent was “first memory means for storing display data indicative of a plurality of service facilities, display pattern data indicative of multiple classifications of the respective service facilities, and position coordinate data indicative of existing positions of the service facilities.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed that this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and determined to mean “storing display data indicative of a plurality of service facilities, display pattern data indicative of multiple classifications of the respective service facilities, and position coordinate data indicative of existing positions of the service facilities.”  ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin and the OUII position and determined that the structure for the first disputed term is, “an external non-volatile memory, and equivalents thereof.”

The second element and disputed term was “means for reading said display data from said first memory means in accordance with an operator input and for displaying said plurality of service facilities onto said display in accordance with the read display data.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean: (1) “reading said display data from said first memory means in accordance with an operator input” and (2) “displaying said plurality of service facilities onto said display in accordance with the read display data.” ALJ Charneski continued to agree with Garmin and the OUII position and determined that the structure for the second disputed term is “processor programmed to: (1) read display data stored on a CD-ROM or other external non-volatile memory; and (2) supply the display data to the graphic controller and allow the graphic memory to be rewritten, and equivalents thereof.”

The fourth element and third disputed term of claim 1 of the ‘951 patent was “means for reading the display pattern data and position coordinate data corresponding to the designated one service facility from said first memory means for every time a service facility is designated.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean “reading the display pattern data and position coordinate data corresponding to the designated one service facility from said first memory means for every time a service facility is designated.” ALJ Charneski agreed with the OUII position that the corresponding structure for this disputed term is:

“a central processing unit (CPU) programmed according to the algorithm of Fig. 3, steps S7-S8 [as described below], and equivalents thereof

S7 - CPU conducts a check to see if a position registration key in the input device has been operated or not
S8 - when the position registration key is operated, CPU gives a command to the CD-ROM drive or other external non-volatile memory means in order to read out the pair of  longitude and latitude data and position display pattern data corresponding to the display data read from the CD-ROM or other external non-volatile memory,
and equivalents thereof.”

The fifth element and fourth disputed term was, “second memory means for storing the read display pattern data and position coordinate data corresponding to all of said display pattern data and said position coordinate data from said first memory means.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, but the parties disputed whether the data stored on the second memory means can be different from the data read from the first memory means.  ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin that the data needed to be the same, and therefore construed the function of  this limitation as, “storing the read display pattern data and position coordinate data corresponding to all of said display pattern data and said position coordinate data from said first memory means, wherein the ‘read display pattern data’ that is stored on the second memory cannot be different information than the ‘read display pattern data’ that is read from the first memory.”  The structure corresponding to this function was agreed upon by the parties and construed by ALJ Charneski to mean “a persistent random access memory, and equivalents thereof.”

With respect to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer had satisfied every element of the ‘951 patent, except for the above fifth element, because it could not show that any relevant data read from the first memory was stored on the second memory as required by the above construction.

The sixth element and fifth disputed term of the ‘951 patent was “means for reading the stored display pattern data and position coordinate data from said second memory means when a map is displayed on said display.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and construed to mean, “reading the stored display pattern data and position coordinate data from said second memory means when a map is displayed on said display.” ALJ Charneski agreed with the OUII position that the corresponding structure for this disputed term is:

“a central processing unit programmed according to the algorithm of Fig. 4, steps S23-25 [as defined below], and equivalents thereof

S23 - the longitude and latitude data (xn, yn) is read out from the memory position designation by an address An in a position registration data table stored in the persistent RAM
S24 - Check to see if the longitude and latitude shown by the longitude and latitude data (xn, yn) lie within the range of the map displayed at present or not
S25 - If the longitude and latitude data are within the range of the map which is at present being displayed, the display pattern data Dn is read out from the memory position of the address An in the position registration data table stored in the persistent RAM.”

The seventh element and sixth disputed term was, “means for multiplexing the position indicated by the read position coordinate data from said second memory means onto the map by a display pattern corresponding to the read display pattern data from said second memory means in order to display on said display.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and the function of the term was agreed upon by the parties and determined to mean “displaying on the map the position indicated by the read position coordinate data from said second memory means using a display pattern corresponding to the read display pattern data from said second memory means when the position falls within a viewable range on the map.” ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin and the OUII position that the corresponding structure for this disputed term is, “a central processing unit programmed to supply the position coordinate data and position display pattern data to the graphic controller, and equivalents thereof.”

The ‘592 Patent

Pioneer asserted claims 1 and 2 of the ‘592 patent, which relate to display processing for a navigation apparatus which is mounted in a vehicle and a map display apparatus suitable for use in a navigation system for a mobile body.

The parties disputed the construction of only a single claim term of the ‘592 patent, namely the first element of claim 1: “extracting means for extracting map data and location data representing a plurality of locations segregated into different categories and coordinate data corresponding to said plurality of locations.”  ALJ Charneski determined, and the parties agreed this is a means plus function limitation, and ALJ Charneski primarily adopted Garmin’s position and determined that the function of this term means “extracting map data and location data representing a plurality of locations segregated into different categories and coordinate data corresponding to said plurality of locations, where said plurality of locations have been segregated into different categories prior to extraction.”  ALJ Charneski agreed with Garmin and determined that the corresponding structure for this disputed term is “CPU programmed to read location data from memory and a CD-Rom drive.”

As to infringement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer had not shown infringement of the above element of claim 1 because Garmin’s POI database was not “segregated into different categories” as required by the claim.

ALJ Charneski further determined that Pioneer had not shown infringement of the sixth element of claim 1 of the ‘592 patent, namely, “a calculating device which calculates respective straight-line distances from said point of interest and each of said locations of said one selected category,” since hearing evidence confirmed that Garmin devices are not programmed to calculate the distance to each of the POIs in a selected category.

Validity of the ‘592 Patent

Garmin and the OUII argued that the ‘592 patent was rendered obvious under 35 U.S.C. §103 by U.S. Patent No.  5,067,081 to Person ( the ‘081 patent).  However, ALJ Charneski determined that the ‘081 patent does not disclose the seventh element of claim 1 of the ‘592 patent, namely, “a location name display device which displays on said display the location names of said selected category in order of the respective distances between said point of interest and locations of said one selected category.”   ALJ Charneski further determined that the ‘081 patent did not disclose the first element of the ‘592 patent discussed above, namely, “extracting means for extracting map data and location data representing a plurality of locations segregated into different categories and coordinate data corresponding to said plurality of locations.”  Finally, ALJ Charneski determined that neither Garmin nor the OUII had advanced any reason why a person of ordinary skill would have modified the ‘081 patent to arrive at the invention claimed in the ‘592 patent.

Garmin and the OUII additionally argued that the “selector device for selecting at least one category” and the “location name display device” elements of claim 1 lacked written description support, because these elements of the claim are directed to a system that allows for selecting a single category and then displaying locations in that single category, which the inventors allegedly disparaged in their specification.  ALJ Charneski determined that contrary to Garmin’s allegations, the claims are, in part, “directed to a system that selects and displays one or more categories,” which enjoys support, and he further determined that applicants did not disparage selecting one category and displaying location information in that one selected category.  ALJ Charneski further determined that although the specification admittedly “indicates that the prior art has a disadvantage, it does not in any way make clear that the invention cannot include a hierarchical menu display, as Garmin contends.”

Domestic Industry

As to the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement, ALJ Charneski determined that Pioneer had made substantial investments in the United States to exploit the asserted patents through licensing.  Although heavily redacted, the work supporting Pioneer’s licensing efforts included litigation that followed licensing efforts, employment of engineers to investigate potential licensees’ products, including purchasing, reverse engineering, testing and analyzing these products.  Garmin objected that Pioneer’s licensing expenses were not always connected to the asserted patents, but ALJ Charneski determined that where Pioneer’s licensing activities are directed to an overall portfolio which includes the asserted patents, Pioneer need not specifically keep track of licensing activities on a patent-by-patent basis.

Remedy and Bond

ALJ Charneski recommended that should the Commission find a Section 337 violation, that it issue a limited exclusion order directed to multimedia display and navigation devices and systems, specifically including “components of such devices and systems,” contrary to Garmin’s and pursuant to Pioneer’s request.  ALJ Charneski further recommended that the order include a certification provision to facilitate proper enforcement of the order.  ALJ Charneski additionally recommended that in the event of a violation, the Commission should issue a cease and desist order.  As to a bond, the parties agreed that a bond amount based on a reasonable royalty was appropriate, and ALJ Charneski recommended that in the event of a violation, that Garmin be required to post a bond equal to 0.5% of the entered value of any accused product sought to be imported during the Presidential review period.
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