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Lack of Algorithm in Specification Renders Means-Plus-Function Claim Indefinite

The Eastern District of Texas held that the only asserted claim of U.S. Patent No. 6,452,515 was indefinite because “the term ‘[means] for encoding these labels in a random order’” (alterations in original) invokes 35 USC § 112 ¶ 6, and “the specification of the ‘515 Patent does not disclose an algorithm for performing the encoding function required by this limitation.” Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Google LLC, No. 18-cv-00501-JRG-RSP (E.D.Tex. May 1, 2020). The asserted claim from the ‘515 Patent, claim 1, is reproduced here: 1. A video encoder for processing a sequence of animated pictures, said encoder comprising:      means for dividing a screen window occupied by said sequence into X rows and Y columns;      means for separately encoding each one of the X·Y parts of each picture of the sequence thus obtained; and      means for associating, to each of said parts, a specific label indicating a…

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Means-Plus-Function Claim Construction of “Customization Module” Results in Indefinite Finding

In William Grecia v. Samsung Electronics (Fed. Cir. 2019) the Federal Circuit affirmed a finding of invalidity for U.S. Patent 8,533,860 (the ‘860 patent) under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶2 (indefinite). The invalidly determination for the ‘860 patent was arrived at by the Court after a means-plus-analysis and invocation of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶6. Claim 21, the only claim at issue, recites: 21. A computer product comprising a memory, a CPU, a communications console and a non-transitory computer usable medium, the computer usable medium having an operating system stored therein, the computer product further comprising a customization module, the computer product authorizing access to digital content, wherein the digital content is at least one of an application, a video, or a video game, wherein the digital content is at least one of encrypted or not encrypted, the computer product configured to perform the steps of: receiving a digital content…

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Claim term “Processor” does not invoke MPF Construction

In a tentative ruling, a court held the claim term “processor” did not invoke means-plus-function construction and was not governed by 35 U.S.C. §112¶6. Realtime Adaptive Streaming LLC v. Adobe Systems Inc., No. cv 18-9344-GW(JCx) (C.D. CA, July 25, 2019. Plaintiff Realtime Adaptive Streaming LLC (“Realtime”) brought an action against Defendants Google LLC and YouTube LLC (collectively “Google Defendants”) alleging infringement of five Realtime patents. Realtime further filed suit against Defendant Adobe Systems Inc. (“Adobe”), alleging infringement of seven Realtime patents, including the five patents asserted against the Google Defendants. The court directed the parties to file consolidated claim construction briefs for certain disputed terms. The court conducted a hearing and issued a Tentative Ruling construing the disputed terms. Two of the patents asserted against Adobe, US 9,769,477 and US 9,762,907, included the claim term “processor.” Representative claim 1 of the ‘477 patent recites in part: 1. A system, comprising:…

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Patent Claims Held Indefinite for Mixed Apparatus and Method

In a Claim Construction Memorandum and Order, a court recently held a claim term indefinite for mixing an apparatus and a method. Wireless IP Holdings, L.P., v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al. No. 2:18-CV-28-JRG, (E.D. Texas, Jan. 29, 2019). Plaintiff Wireless IP Holdings alleged infringement of United States Patents No. 8,014,284 (“the ‘284 Patent”), 8,559,312 (“the ‘312 Patent”), and 9,392,638 (“the ‘638 Patent”) by Defendant Samsung Electronics Co.Following a Markman Hearing, the Court construed a plurality of claim terms. This blog post discusses a claim term held to be indefinite for mixing apparatus and method subject matter classes. The claim term in question recites “the add-on base station . . . is [owned and] installed by an individual or entity, separate and distinct from the telephone service provider, with access to the public Internet.” The parties disputed the interpretation of “is owned and installed by an individual or entity separate and distinct…

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“Minimal Redundancy” Makes Patent Claim Indefinite under § 112

The phrase “minimal redundancy” in a patent claim was indefinite under 35 USC § 112 where the patent specification inconsistently described levels of redundancy achieved by its system.  Berkheimer v. HP, Inc., No. 2017-1437 (Fed. Cir. Feb 8, 2017) (precedential) (opinion by Judge Moore, joined by Judges Taranto and Stoll). Accordingly, the court affirmed a district court’s summary judgment that claim 10 of US Patent No. 7,447,713 was indefinite. The court also addressed the patent-eligibility of other claims of the ’713 patent; the patent-eligibility issues are dealt with in another post. Claim 10 of the ’713 patent recites: 10. An object, oriented archival system comprising: a storage medium, and a set of executable instructions for establishing an archive of documents represented by linked object oriented elements stored in the medium, wherein the archive exhibits minimal redundancy with at least some elements linked to pluralities of the elements and wherein some…

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