United States District Court, D. Delaware
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., 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
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
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the issue of claim construction of
multiple terms in U.S. Patent Nos. 8, 938, 637 ("the
'637 Patent"), 9, 195, 258 ("the '258
Patent"), 9, 202, 509 ("the '509 Patent"),
and 9, 213, 357 ("the '357 Patent). The Court has
considered the Parties' Supplemental Claim Construction
Briefs. (D.I. 240, 244, 252, 257).
filed these actions on October 21, 2014, alleging
infringement of four patents. (D.I. 1). Plaintiff
subsequently amended its complaint (D.I. 6, 31, 102, 263) to
assert a total of twelve patents. The parties stipulated to
dismissal of one asserted patent with prejudice on August 25,
2016. (D.I. 150). Plaintiff subsequently dismissed two
additional patents, leaving nine patents-in-suit. (D.I. 298
at 5; D.I. 350 at 4). The remaining patents-in-suit claim
devices and methods for controlling audio devices. The
parties submitted a Joint Claim Construction Brief (D.I. 210)
and the Court heard oral argument on December 14, 2016. (D.I.
213). In a Markman opinion issued on January 12,
2017, 1 asked the parties for supplemental briefing on four
terms. (D.I. 219 at 18-19). I received the briefing (D.I.
240, 244, 252, 257), and I now construe the four terms.
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.
WestviewInstruments, 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
'637 patent is directed to systems and methods for
synchronizing operations among independently clocked devices.
Claim 1 is representative and reads as follows:
A digital data processing device comprising:
an interface to receive multimedia information
arranged as a plurality of frames, each frame to include one
or more samples and an indication of when to play
the one or more samples in a frame;
an information buffer to store the plurality of frames for
play back by the digital data processing device,
wherein the digital data processing device is to receive
clock information from a source device and determine
a time differential value between the received clock
information and clock information associated
with the digital data processing device, the time
differential value to be applied with the indication of
when to play each of the plurality of frames to store an
updated indication of when to play each of the
plurality of frames in the information buffer; and
an output to play back one or more samples in a frame from
the information buffer according to the updated