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Trueposition, Inc. v. Polaris Wireless, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

February 4, 2014

TRUEPOSITION, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
POLARIS WIRELESS, INC., Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

MARY PAT THYNGE, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This patent infringement matter was instituted on May 23, 2012 by TruePosition, Inc. ("TP") against Polaris Wireless, Inc. ("Polaris") for alleged infringement claims 98, 113 and 114 of U.S. Patent No. 7, 783, 299 (the "299 patent").[1] Polaris answered, which included affirmative defenses, on July 27, 2012, [2] and subsequently moved to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ("NDCA") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1404(a).[3] That motion was denied on October 25, 2012.[4] Thereafter, on June 4, 2013, Polaris filed a petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") requesting inter parties review ("IPR") of claims 113 and 114 of the 299 patent.[5] On July 12, 2013, a month later, Polaris moved to stay this action pending the IPR.[6] That motion was denied on October 21, 2013.[7] The technology tutorial occurred on August 22, 2013, and claim construction briefing began on August 30, 2013 and was completed by September 20, 2013.[8] The Markman hearing occurred on October 18, 2013.[9]

II. BACKGROUND[10]

A. Wireless Communications Technology

The parties' geolocation systems involved in this litigation operate with wireless communications using the Global System for Mobile Communications ("GSM") protocol, an accepted air interface protocol employed world-wide. The GSM cellular network includes a mobile device, such as a cell phone, that communicates with a radio tower, called a cell tower, covering a certain area referred to as a cell. Each cell tower is connected to a Base Transceiver Station ("BTS"), and one or more BTSs are connected to a Base Station Controller ("BSC") through an Abis link. The BSCs are, in turn, connected to a Mobile Switching Center ("MSC"), through the A link. The MSC is connected to the devise hosting the GSM Mobile Application Protocol ("GSM MAP") by the GSM MAP link. GSM MAP allows for such services as roaming, authentication, intersystem switching and Short Message Service (SMS; "text message") routing.[11]

Communication by the various network components with each other over the signaling links of the GSM network as noted above occurs through use of network transactions. A network transaction is described as a network event involving a message or message sequence.[12] The GSM network uses standardized messages and message contents published by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project ("3GPP"), which are broken up into standard data fields.[13] Both the messages and their data are useful in geolocation.

B. The 299 Patent

The 299 patent, which claims priority to the U.S. Patent 6, 782, 264 (the "264 patent'"), was filed on June 10, 2005, and issued on August 24, 2010.[14] In the Abstract, the 299 patent is directed to:

Method and systems are employed by wireless location system (WLS) for locating a wireless device operating in a geographic area served by a wireless communications system.[15]

As a "substantial extension of the system described" in the 264 patent, the 299 patent, through the use of a Link Monitoring System ("LMS"), obtains data from a cellular telephone system by expanding the types of signaling links previously described in the 264 patent, thus enabling it to detect more messages, which carry additional information, usable to determine the cell phones to locate and when to locate them:[16]

For example, while the 264 patent describes a system that monitors communications between a base transreceiver station [BTS] and base station controller [BSC], and forwards mobile station (MS) information to a Wireless Location System [WLS] for emergency call location, the advanced location-based services application described herein utilize additional network messages as triggering events and information sources for a wide variety of location-based services.[17]

Asserted claims 98, 113 and 114 are independent claims directed to a system for monitoring certain links to detect certain transactions for location services, by addressing the concern of locating a mobile device when it is unknown when the device will transmit or receive.

Described in the 299 patent are "network transactions" and "triggers." A network transaction, also referenced as network events, [18] is described as a "message or message sequence potentially useful to the advanced trigger invention."[19] The patent describes a "trigger" may be the message itself, the content of the monitored messages, or a combination of both with stored information:

LMS triggers include message-type triggers, when the message itself is the location triggering event, and triggers based on the contents of the monitored messages where a network transaction and a filter are both necessary. By combining these triggers with LMS stored information, a third type of trigger, the complex trigger, can be produced. Any of the three types of triggers can be set to cause (trigger) a location estimation procedure.[20]

III. CLAIMS-AT-ISSUE

TP alleges Polaris infringes claims 98, 113, and 114 of the 299 patent.

Claim 98 of the 299 patent recites:

98. A wireless location system (WLS) configured to be overlaid on a wireless communications system, the WLS comprising:
a plurality of location measuring units (LMUs) capable of being co-located with a corresponding base transceiver station (BTS) of the wireless communications system;
a link monitoring system (LMS) including a mechanism for detecting at least one predefined network transaction involving a predefined trigger occurring on at least one predefined signaling link;
a serving mobile location center (SMLC) for locating a wireless device based on radio signals transmitted by the wireless device;
wherein said LMS is configured for monitoring predefined signaling links of the wireless communications system, said signaling links including at least an A link and a GSM-MAP link; and
wherein the system is configured to detect said at least one predefined network transaction and, in response thereto, to correlate mobile identity data (MSID) detected on the A link with a mobile station ISDN (MSISDN) detected on the GSM-MAP link for the wireless device associated with said predefined network transaction, and to launch at least one predefined location service.[21]

Claim 113 of the 299 patent recites:

113. A system for use by a wireless location system (WLS) for locating a wireless device operating in a geographic area served by a wireless communications system, comprising:

means for monitoring a set of predefined signaling links of the wireless communications system, wherein said predefined signaling links include at least an Abis link between a base transceiver station (BTS) and a base station controller (BSC), wherein said monitoring comprises passively monitoring said set of predefined links such that the operation of said wireless device and said wireless communications system is unaffected by said monitoring, and wherein said predefined network transaction comprises at least one of a mobile origination transaction and a mobile termination transaction;
means for detecting at least one predefined network transaction involving a predefined trigger occurring on at least one of said predefined signaling links; and
means for initiating at least one predefined location service in response to the detection of said at least one predefined network transaction involving a predefined trigger.[22]

Claim 114 of the 299 patent recites:

114. A system for use by a wireless location system (WLS) for locating a wireless device operating in a geographic area served by a wireless communications system, comprising:
means for monitoring a set of predefined signaling links of the wireless communications system, wherein said predefined signaling links include at least an Abis link between a base transceiver station (BTS) and a base station controller (BSC), wherein said monitoring comprises passively monitoring said set of predefined links such that the operation of said wireless device and said wireless communications system is unaffected by said monitoring;
means for detecting at least one predefined network transaction involving a predefined trigger occurring on at least one of said predefined signaling links, wherein said predefined trigger comprises at least one of a dialed digit trigger and a Mobile Station Identification (MSID) trigger; and
means for initiating at least one predefined location service in response to the detection of said at least one predefined network transaction involving a predefined trigger.[23]

IV. LEGAL PRINCIPLES

A. Claim Construction: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Evidence

Under the guidelines of Phillips v. AWH Corp ., the primary evidence for construing patent claims is intrinsic evidence, that is, the words of the claims themselves, the patent specification, and the prosecution history.[24] "The words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning as understood by a person of ordinary skill in the art when read in the context of the specification and prosecution history."[25] The Federal Circuit has stated "[t]here are only two exceptions to this general rule: 1) when a patentee sets out a definition and acts as his own lexicographer, or 2) when the patentee disavows the full scope of a claim term either in the specification or during prosecution."[26]

"To act as its own lexicographer, a patentee must clearly set forth a definition of the disputed claim term' other than its plain and ordinary meaning."[27] "It is not enough for a patentee to simply disclose a single embodiment or use a word in the same manner in all embodiments, the patentee must clearly express an intent' to redefine the term."[28]

The standard for disavowal of claim scope is similarly exacting.

Where the specification makes clear that the invention does not include a particular feature, that feature is deemed to be outside the reach of the claims of the patent, even though the language of the claims, read without reference to the specification, might be considered broad enough to encompass the feature in question.' SciMed Life Sys., Inc. v. Advanced Cardiovascular Sys., Inc., 242 F.3d 1337, 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2001). The patentee may demonstrate intent to deviate from the ordinary and accustomed meaning of a claim term by including in the specification expressions of manifest exclusion or restriction, representing a clear disavowal of claim scope.' Teleflex, Inc. v. Ficosa N. Am. Corp., 299 F.3d 1313, 1325 (Fed. Cir. 2002).[29]

As with its explanation of a patentee acting as its own lexicographer, the Federal Circuit stated "[i]t is likewise not enough that the only embodiments, or all of the embodiments contain a particular limitation."[30] The court concluded: "[w]e do not read limitations from the specification into claims; we do not redefine words. Only the patentee can do that. To constitute disclaimer, there must be a clear and unmistakable disclaimer."[31]

"[T]he single best guide to the meaning of a dispute term" is the specification, which is both "highly relevant to the claim construction analysis, " and usually dispositive.[32] The specification, however, cannot be used to read limitations into the claims.[33] Although the specification "provide[s] a context to illuminate the meaning of claim terms, "[34] the court should not interpret those claim terms "by adding limitations appearing only in the specification."[35] The general rule is that unless the claims themselves so limit, "the claims of a patent are not limited to the preferred embodiment" set forth in the specification.[36] Further, the same claim term "is presumed to have the same meaning throughout all of the claims in the absence of any reason to believe otherwise."[37] Similarly, the prosecution history also provides insight ...


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