United States District Court, D. Delaware
D&M HOLDINGS INC. d/b/a THE D GROUP, D&M HOLDINGS U.S. INC., Plaintiffs,
SONOS, INC., Defendant.
B. Blumenfeld, Esq., MORRIS NICHOLS ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP,
Wilmington, DE; Michael J. Flynn, Esq., MORRIS NICHOLS ARSHT
& TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; John M. Jackson, Esq.
(argued), JACKSON WALKER LLP, Dallas, TX; Matthew C. Acosta,
Esq. (argued), JACKSON WALKER LLP, Dallas, TX; Blake T.
Dietrich, Esq., JACKSON WALKER LLP, Dallas, TX; David Folsom,
Esq., JACKSON WALKER LLP, Texarkana, TX. Attorneys for
Phillip A. Rovner, Esq., POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP,
Wilmington, DE; Jonathan A. Choa, Esq., POTTER ANDERSON &
CORROON LLP, Wilmington, DE; George I. Lee, Esq., LEE
SULLIVAN SHEA & SMITH, LLP, Chicago, IL; Sean M.
Sullivan, Esq. (argued), LEE SULLIVAN SHEA & SMITH, LLP,
Chicago, IL; Rory P. Shea, Esq. (argued), LEE SULLIVAN SHEA
& SMITH, LLP, Chicago, IL; J. Dan Smith, Esq., LEE
SULLIVAN SHEA & SMITH, LLP, Chicago, IL; Michael P.
Boyea, Esq., LEE SULLIVAN SHEA & SMITH, LLP, Chicago, IL.
Attorneys for Defendant
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is the issue of claim construction of
multiple terms in U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 734, 850 ("the
'850 patent"), 6, 539, 210 ("the '210
patent"), 6, 469, 633 ("the '633 patent"),
8, 755, 667 ("the '667 patent"), 6, 473, 441
("the '441 patent") and 7, 987, 294 ("the
'294 patent"). The Court has considered the
Parties' Joint Claim Construction Brief and the
additional letter briefing submitted after the Markman
hearing. (D.I. 92, 100, 102). The Court heard oral argument
on June 21, 2017. (D.I. 101) ("Hr'g Tr.").
patent infringement lawsuit began when Plaintiffs requested
leave to add counterclaims in a related action filed by
Defendant against Plaintiffs on October 21, 2014. (Civ. Act.
No. 14-1330, D.I. 81). The Court granted leave but severed
these infringement counterclaims into the instant case. (Civ.
Act. No. 14-1330, D.I. 100). Plaintiffs asserted nine patents
in their counterclaims. (D.I. 1). Defendant moved to dismiss
seven of these counterclaims pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. (D.I.
9). On April 18, 2017, the Court granted Defendant's
motion in part, finding that U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 343, 435 and
7, 305, 694 are directed to abstract ideas and that
Plaintiffs had failed to plausibly allege infringement of
U.S. Patent No. 7, 995, 899 ("the '899
patent"). (D.I. 58). Plaintiffs were given leave to
amend as to the '899 patent. (Id. at 23).
Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on May 1, 2017. (D.I.
is a bedrock principle of patent law that the claims of a
patent define the invention to which the patentee is entitled
the right to exclude." Phillips v. AWH Corp.,
415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) (internal
quotation marks omitted). '"[T]here is no magic
formula or catechism for conducting claim construction.'
Instead, the court is free to attach the appropriate weight
to appropriate sources 'in light of the statutes and
policies that inform patent law.'" SoftView LLC
v. Apple Inc., 2013 WL 4758195, at *1 (D. Del. Sept. 4,
2013) (quoting Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1324)
(alteration in original). When construing patent claims, a
court considers the literal language of the claim, the patent
specification, and the prosecution history. Markman v.
Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 977-80 (Fed.
Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370
(1996). Of these sources, "the specification is always
highly relevant to the claim construction analysis. Usually,
it is dispositive; it is the single best guide to the meaning
of a disputed term." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1315
(internal quotation marks omitted).
words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and
customary meaning.... [Which is] the meaning that the term
would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art in
question at the time of the invention, i.e., as of the
effective filing date of the patent application."
Id. at 1312-13 (citations and internal quotation
marks omitted). "[T]he ordinary meaning of a claim term
is its meaning to [an] ordinary artisan after reading the
entire patent." Id. at 1321 (internal quotation
marks omitted). "In some cases, the ordinary meaning of
claim language as understood by a person of skill in the art
may be readily apparent even to lay judges, and claim
construction in such cases involves little more than the
application of the widely accepted meaning of commonly
understood words." Id. at 1314.
court relies solely upon the intrinsic evidence-the patent
claims, the specification, and the prosecution history-the
court's construction is a determination of law. See
Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831,
841 (2015). The court may also make factual findings based
upon consideration of extrinsic evidence, which
"consists of all evidence external to the patent and
prosecution history, including expert and inventor testimony,
dictionaries, and learned treatises." Phillips,
415 F.3d at 1317-19 (internal quotation marks omitted).
Extrinsic evidence may assist the court in understanding the
underlying technology, the meaning of terms to one skilled in
the art, and how the invention works. Id. Extrinsic
evidence, however, is less reliable and less useful in claim
construction than the patent and its prosecution history.
claim construction is persuasive, not because it follows a
certain rule, but because it defines terms in the context of
the whole patent." Renishaw PLC v. Marposs Societa
'per Azioni, 158 F.3d 1243, 1250 (Fed. Cir. 1998).
It follows that "a claim interpretation that would
exclude the inventor's device is rarely the correct
interpretation." Osram GMBH v. Int'l Trade
Comm'n, 505 F.3d 1351, 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2007)
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted).
CONSTRUCTION OF DISPUTED TERMS
'850 patent is directed to methods for resuming
interrupted data stream transfers. Claim 1 is representative
and reads as follows:
method of resuming an interrupted data stream transfer
obtaining recovery state information, including a
stored compression block boundary position and a stored file
boundary position of the interrupted data stream transfer;
resuming the data stream transfer by requesting a compressed
data stream starting with the stored compression block
advancing through the resumed data stream transfer to reach
the stored file boundary position by decompressing data from
the stored compression block boundary position to the stored
file boundary position;
once the file boundary position has been reached,
decompressing and de-archiving data after the file boundary
storing the de-archived data in a destination file system.
('850 patent, claim 1) (disputed term italicized).
'210 patent is directed to methods and systems for
identifying and matching broadcast signals with signal
information. Claim 1 is representative of the method claims
and reads as follows:
method of identifying signal sources, comprising:
selecting a communication medium from a plurality of
communication media, to supply a signal;
storing medium selection data identifying the communication
obtaining the signal from a signal source via the
communication medium; and
accessing at least one database from a data source separate
from the signal source to obtain signal information about
the signal source.
('210 patent, claim 1) (disputed terms italicized). Claim
44 is representative of the apparatus claims and reads as
apparatus for identifying signal sources, comprising:
means for selecting a communication medium from a
plurality of communication media, including at least
broadcast signals received from an antenna and
packetized signals received via a packet-based network, to
supply a signal;
means for storing medium selection data identifying the
communication medium, including first and second medium
selection data for receiving the signal from the signal
source via first and second communication media,
means for obtaining the signal from a signal source via the
means for accessing at least one database from a data
source separate from the signal source to obtain signal
information about the signal source;
means for outputting the signal from the signal source as
received via the first communication medium in response to
selection by a user; and
means for automatically switching to the second communication
medium for receipt of the signal in response to detection of
deterioration of the signal.
('210 patent, claim 44) (disputed terms italicized).
'633 patent contains three independent claims: claims
1-3. Claim 1 is representative and reads:
apparatus controlling at least one electrical device,
a display device to display representations of controls for a
currently selected device and one of video signals from the
currently selected device and a representation of the
currently selected device;
a remote control transmitter, including a user interface
consisting of only a cursor moving control and
buttons to select one of icons and text displayed on
said display device and what is displayed at a
cursor position, to transmit a user generated signal
indicating selection of a position on said display device
corresponding to a selected control representation;
a remote control receiver to receive the user generated
signal from said remote control transmitter;
a processor, coupled to said remote control receiver, to
determine the position on said display device selected by the
user generated signal and control operations corresponding
a device controller, coupled to said processor and the at
least one electrical device, to control operation of the at
least one electrical device in accordance with the control
operations corresponding to the position selected by the user
('633 patent, claim 1) (disputed term italicized).
'667 patent is directed to a system and methods for
inputting text using an on-screen display. ...