from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas in No. 6:12-cv-00100-JRG, Judge J. Rodney
V. PADMANABHAN, Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., Minneapolis,
MN, argued for plaintiff-appellant. Also represented by Paul
J. ROBBENNOLT; HENRY CHARLES Bunsow, Brian A. E. Smith,
Bunsow, De Mory, Smith & Allison LLP, San Francisco, CA;
Denise Marie De Mory, Craig Y. Allison, Redwood City, CA.
J. Mueller, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP,
Boston, MA, argued for defendant-appellee. Also represented
by Cynthia D. Vreeland, Richard W. O'Neill, Michael
O'MALLEY, Bryson, and WALLACH, Circuit Judges.
Bryson, Circuit Judge.
appeal arises from a patent infringement action brought in
the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Texas. The plaintiff, Core Wireless
Licensing S.a.r.L, is the owner of U.S. Patent No.
6,978,143 ("the '143 patent"). Claim 17 of the
patent, the only claim at issue in this appeal, recites a
mobile station, such as a mobile telephone, that is connected
to a cellular system or network. The claim is directed to
means for sending packet data from the mobile station to the
network using a selected channel.
trial, the jury found that the defendant, Apple Inc., did not
infringe any of the asserted claims. The district court
denied Core Wireless's motion for judgment as a matter of
law, and Core Wireless took this appeal. We affirm.
stations such as cellular telephones can transmit data
packets to a cellular network (known as an uplink) in one of
two ways-either by using a shared "common channel,"
which carries transmissions from multiple mobile stations, or
by using a "dedicated channel," which carries
transmissions from a single mobile station without competing
transmissions from other mobile stations. Dedicated channels
are valuable because they permit faster and more reliable
transmissions than common channels. But dedicated channels
are at a premium, as there are not enough dedicated
channels to carry all cellular transmissions. The industry
has therefore worked to solve the problem of how to
allocate dedicated channels (when the need for a
dedicated channel is greatest).
aspect of this problem is whether the network or the mobile
station should select the channel for the uplink. The
network initially has no information about the data packet to
be sent, such as data packet size, and therefore does not
have the necessary information to make a channel selection
decision. In the prior art, the mobile station would send the
network information about the data packet to be sent so that
the network could make the channel selection decision. As
noted in the '143 patent, selection by the network wastes
valuable system resources, because it requires the mobile
station to send a message to the network regarding the data
packet the mobile station wants to transmit, and then
requires the network to make the channel selection decision.
See '143 patent, col. 3,11. 41-49.
solution provided by the '143 patent is to have the
mobile station, not the network, make the uplink channel
selection decision. The way that is done is for the
network to provide the mobile station with certain
parameters that the mobile station is directed to apply
in determining whether to use a dedicated channel or a common
channel. See '143 patent, col. 3,11. 53-56;
id., col. 4,11. 37-58. According to the patent, the
described method reduces "the signaling load associated
with the allocation of packet data transfer" and reduces
"the delay associated with the starting of data
transfer." Id., col. 3, 11. 64-67. Because the
mobile station makes the channel selection decision, it does
not use up traffic capacity by sending the message about the
data packet to the network so that the network may select a
channel. Id., col. 3,11. 40-49.
Core Wireless initially asserted a number of claims from
several different patents against Apple, this appeal involves
only a single claim-claim 17 of the '143 patent. That
claim reads as follows:
A mobile station connected with a cellular system,
comprising means for sending uplink packet data to the system
using a selected channel, wherein the selected channel is
either a common channel (RACH) or dedicated channel (DCH),
characterized in that it also comprises: means for receiving
a threshold value of the channel selection parameter from the
means for storing said threshold value of the channel
selection parameter, and
means for comparing said threshold value of the channel
selection parameter to a current value of the channel
selection parameter for basis of said channel selection.
magistrate judge conducted the claim construction proceedings
and construed the "means for comparing" limitation
of claim 17 to have the function of "comparing said
threshold value of the channel selection parameter to a
current value of the channel ...