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Sound View Innovations, LLC v. Facebook, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 10, 2017

Sound View Innovations, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
Facebook, Inc., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

         This order addresses two issues relating to the claim construction in this case. I issued an opinion construing contested terms in six asserted patents on May 19, 2017. (D.I. 100).

         First, Plaintiff moves (D.I. 116) for reconsideration of my finding that claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 7, 366, 786 is indefinite. Claim 1 reads:

1. A system for authorizing a user of a client to have access to a server via the Internet comprising:
means in said client for inputting a user identification (ID) and user password;
means in said client for storing a unique client address;
communication means at said client for passing said ID, password and address to said server via said Internet in response to a request therefrom;
means at said server to store information respecting said client and to compare said stored information with said user ID and user password;
means at said server to store dynamic status information respecting said user, said dynamic status information being one of enabled, disabled or active; and
means to authorize log in of said user if said ID and password agree with said stored information and if said user status is enabled.

'786 Patent, col. 22, 11. 5-21 (emphasis added). I construed the italicized term to be indefinite because Plaintiff failed to identify corresponding structure to the function I adopted. Importantly, in the brief the Plaintiff and Defendant agreed-to on an articulation of the claimed function. I rejected their agreed-to function as an incomplete regurgitation of the claim language. I construed the function of the claimed means to be "authorizing log in and verifying user status as enabled." (D.I. 100 at 18).

         As structure for the claimed function, Plaintiff pointed to a JavaScript cookie disclosed in the specification. I rejected this argument on sequencing grounds. It was not possible for the JavaScript cookie to verify the user status as enabled because the cookie came after the user's credentials had been checked. While Defendant pointed to sequencing problems in the claim construction brief, it did not articulate the sequencing problem in this manner. Nor was the particular nature of the sequencing problem I relied on in finding the claim indefinite discussed at oral argument.

         Plaintiff now asks me to construe the structure to be a JavaScript Cookie and System API. It points to a clear passage in the specification to support its proposed construction. (D.I. 116 at 3 (citing '786 Patent, col. 10, ll. 21-27)).

         Because the patent specification is clear and the exact grounds for my indefiniteness ruling were not explored in the briefs or at oral argument, my earlier decision was "manifest error." Thus, I am GRANTING Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration. I do not think I need "full briefing" on this. (See D.I. 129 at 3 n. 1).

         Thus, I CONSTRUE the term "means to authorize log in of said user if said ID and password agree with said stored information and if said ...


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