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D&M Holdings, Inc., v. Sonos, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

February 22, 2018

D&M HOLDINGS INC. d/b/a THE D GROUP, D&M HOLDINGS U.S. INC., Plaintiffs,
v.
SONOS, INC., Defendant.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld, Michael J. Flynn, MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; John M. Jackson, Matthew C. Acosta, Blake T. Dietrich, Christopher J. Rourk, Robert P. Latham, JACKSON WALKER L.L.P., Dallas, TX, David Folsom, JACKSON WALKER L.L.P., Texarkana, TX; Wasif Qureshi, JACKSON WALKER L.L.P., Houston, TX. Attorneys for Plaintiffs.

          Philip A. Rovner, Jonathan A. Choa, POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP, Wilmington, DE; George I. Lee, Sean M. Sullivan, Rory P. Shea, J. Dan Smith, Michael P. Boyea, Cole B. Richter, Jae Y. Park, LEE SULLIVAN SHEA & SMITH LLP, Chicago, IL. Attorneys for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the Court are Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement and Invalidity of U.S. Patent 7, 734, 850 (D.I. 177) and related briefing (D.I. 178, 227, 240); Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment of Invalidity of U.S. Patent No. 7, 995, 899 (D.I. 186) and related briefing (D.I. 190, 222, 243); Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment of Noninfringement of U.S. Patent No. 7, 995, 899 (D.I. 193) and related briefing (D.I. 194, 224, 248); and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment of Noninfringement of U.S. Patent No. 7, 987, 294 and No. Earlier Invention Date of U.S. Patent No. 7, 987, 294 (D.I. 191) and related briefing (D.I. 192, 223, 244). The Court held oral argument on all motions for summary judgment (D.I. 177, 186, 191, 193) on January 30, 2018. (D.I. 278) ("Tr."). The Court ordered, and the parties subsequently submitted, additional claim construction briefing. (Tr. 118:7-14; D.I. 280, 285, 291, 294). This Memorandum Opinion resolves the claim construction issues briefed by the parties, which underlie Defendant's summary judgment motions. The motions themselves remain pending.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed a patent infringement action on March 7, 2016 against Defendant, alleging infringement of several patents, including U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 734, 850 ("the '850 patent"), 7, 995, 899 ("the '899 patent"), and 7, 987, 294 ("the '294 patent"). (D.I. 1). Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on May 1, 2017. (D.I. 65).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         "It 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. AWHCorp., 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), qff'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).

         "[T]he 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.

         When a 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. 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. Id.

         "A 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 omitted).

         III. TERMS FOR CONSTRUCTION

         Plaintiffs allege infringement of claims 3, 7, 12, and 14 of the '850 patent. (D.I. 178 at 1; D.I. 227 at 1). Claim 3 depends from claim 1, claim 7 depends from claim 5, and claims 12 and 14 depend from claim 10. Independent claims 1, 5, and 10 read as follows:

         1. A method of resuming an interrupted data stream transfer comprising:

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 boundary position;
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 position; and
storing the de-archived data in a destination filesystem.

         5. A method of resuming a data stream transfer comprising:

         obtaining recovery state information by:

receiving an initial compressed data stream, wherein the initial compressed data stream includes one or more compression block boundaries and one or more file boundaries;
detecting a file boundary; and
in response to detecting the file boundary, storing the position of the detected file boundary and the position of the last compression block boundary before the detected file boundary;
requesting a compressed data stream starting with the stored compression block boundary position;
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 file boundary position; and
once the file boundary position has been reached, decompressing and de-archiving data after the stored file boundary position.

         10. A method of resuming a data stream transfer comprising:

         obtaining recovery state information by:

receiving an initial compressed data stream;
detecting a compression block boundary in the initial compressed data stream;
detecting an archive block boundary in the initial compressed data stream;
detecting a file boundary in the initial compressed data stream; and
in response to the detection of the compression block boundary, the archive block boundary, and the file boundary, saving the recovery state information;
wherein the recovery state includes the compression block boundary position and the file boundary position;
requesting a compressed data stream starting with the saved compression block boundary position;
advancing through the resumed data stream transfer to reach the saved file boundary position by decompressing data from the saved compression block boundary position to the saved file boundary position; and
once the file boundary position has been reached, decompressing and de-archiving data after the saved file boundary position

('850 patent, claim 1) (disputed terms italicized).

         Plaintiffs allege infringement of claims 3, 4, 7, 9-12, 16, 20 and 26 of the '294 patent. (D.I. 192 at 1). Claims 3, 4, 7, and 9-12 depend from claim 1, claim 16 depends from claim 13, claim 20 depends from claim 18 or claim 19, and claim 26 depends from claim 25. Independent claims 1, 13, 18, 19, 25, and 26 read as follows:

         1. A method for providing a multimedia system including a plurality of networked multimedia devices, the method including the steps of:

discovering the plurality of devices on a computer network;
defining at least two groups, each group being representative of a networked multimedia system including two or more devices;
providing, for each group, a system control interface for receiving, from a control device, a system control signal indicative of an operational change to the group, wherein each group has a relative group leader configured to:
(i) receive the system control signal; and
(ii) in response to the system control signal, define respective corresponding device control signals, and provide those device control signals to the devices thereby to implement the operational change across the group;
defining at least one zone, the zone being representative of a networked multimedia system including two or more groups;
providing, for the zone, a system control interface for receiving, from a control device, a zone control signal indicative of an operational change to the zone, wherein the zone has a relative zone leader configured to:
(i) receive the zone control signal; and
(ii) in response to the zone control signal, define respective corresponding device control signals, and provide those device control signals to the devices thereby to implement the operational change across the zone.

         13. A method performed by a networked multimedia device for providing a multimedia system including the device and one or more complementary networked multimedia devices, the method including the steps of:

connecting to a computer network;
undergoing a discovery process on the computer network for allowing mutual discovery of the device, and the one or ...

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