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S.A. v. Blackberry Ltd.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 22, 2018

3G LICENSING, S.A., KONINKLIJKE KPN N.V., and ORANGE S.A., Plaintiffs,
v.
BLACKBERRY LIMITED and BLACKBERRY CORPORATION, Defendants. 3G LICENSING, S.A., KONINKLIJKE KPN N.V., and ORANGE S.A., Plaintiffs,
v.
LENOVO GROUP LTD., LENOVO HOLDING CO., INC., LENOVO UNITED STATES INC. and MOTOROLA MOBILITY LLC, Defendants. 3G LICENSING, S.A., KONINKLIJKE KPN N.V., and ORANGE S.A., Plaintiffs,
v.
LG ELECTRONICS INC., LG ELECTRONICS, U.S.A., INC. and LG ELECTRONICS MOBILECOMM U.S.A., INC., Defendants. KONINKLIJKE KPN N.V., Plaintiffs,
v.
GEMALTO IOT LLC, GEMALTO M2M GMBH, and GEMALTO INC., Defendants. KONINKLIJKE KPN N.V., Plaintiffs,
v.
SIERRA WIRELESS, INC. and SIERRA WIRELESS AMERICA, INC., Defendant. KONINKLIJKE KPN N.V., Plaintiff,
v.
TCL COMMUNICATION, INC., TCL COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY HOLDING LIMITED, TCT MOBILE, INC., TCT MOBILE (US) INC., and TCT MOBILE (US) HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. KONINKLIJKE KPN N.V., Plaintiff,
v.
TELIT WIRELESS SOLUTIONS, INC., Defendant.

          Joseph J. Faman, Jr., Brian E. Faman, Michael J. Faman, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE Alexandra G. White, Jeffrey S. David, Hunter Vance, Rocco Magni, SUSMAN & GODFREY, Houston, TX Andres C. Healy, SUSMAN & GODFREY, Seattle, WA Attorneys for Plaintiffs 3G Licensing, S.A., Koninklijke KPN N.V., and Orange S.A.

          Colm F. Connolly, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Wilmington, DE Amy M. Dudash Eric Kraeutler, John V. Gorman, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Philadelphia, PA Robert C. Bertin, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Washington, DC Attorneys for Defendants Blackberry Limited and Blackberry Corporation.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld, MORRIS NICHOLS ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE Jonathan E. Retsy, Kathleen B. Barry, James Winn, WINSTON & STRAWN LLP, Chicago, IL Andrew R. Sommer, WINSTON & STRAWN LLP, Washington, DC Attorneys for Defendants Lenovo Holding Co. Inc., and Lenovo (United States) Inc.

          Roger D. Smith, II, MORRIS NICHOLS ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE Peter H. Kang, Ashish Nagdev, Jingyung Lee, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, Palo Alto, CA Ryan M. Sandrock, SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP, San Francisco, CA Attorneys for Defendants LG Electronics Inc., LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., and LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc., David E. Moore, Bindu A. Palapura, Stephanie E. O'Byrne, POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON, LLP, Wilmington, DE Brian A. Rosenthal, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER, New York, NY Colby A. Davis, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER, Los Angeles, CA Brian K. Andrea, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER, Washington, DC Attorneys for Defendants Gemalto IOT LLC, Gemalto M2M GMBH and Gemalto Inc.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld, MORRIS NICHOLS ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE Adam Alper, Eric Cheng, Sarah L. Forney, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, San Francisco, CA Michael W. De Vries, KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP, Los Angeles, CA Attorneys for Defendants Sierra Wireless America, Inc., and Sierra Wireless, Inc.

          Jody Barillare, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Wilmington, DE William P. Quinn, Jr., MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Philadelphia, PA Bradford A. Cangro, Hang Zheng, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Washington, DC Attorneys for Defendants TCL Communication Technology Holding Ltd., TCL Communication, Inc., TCL Mobile, Inc., TCT Mobile (US) Inc., and TCT Mobile (US) Holdings, Inc.

          Jack B. Blumenfeld, MORRIS NICHOLS ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE David A. Loewenstein, Guy Yonay, Clyde A. Shuman, PEARL COHEN ZEDEK LATZER BARATZ LLP, New York, NY Attorneys for Defendant Telit Wireless Solutions, Inc.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff Koninklijke KPN N.V. ("KPN") sued multiple defendants in numerous related actions for alleged infringement of KPN's U.S. Patent No. 6, 212, 662 ('"662 patent"). Pending before the Court is Defendants' motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) for judgment on the pleadings that all the claims of the '662 patent are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. (C.A. No. 17-28 D.I. 28)[1] For the reasons below, the Court will grant Defendants' motion. I. BACKGROUND KPN asserts the '662 patent in a total of eleven cases against Defendants; in seven of those cases it is the only asserted patent, while in the remaining cases it is one of five patents-in-suit.[2] (See D.I. 29 at 1) The '662 patent is entitled "Method and Devices for the Transmission of Data with Transmission Error Checking." (D.I. 29-1 Ex. A) As the title suggests, the '662 patent is related to the "detection of errors, in particular transmission errors, in data streams and/or data packets." '662 patent at Abstract; see also Id. at 1:10-11 ("The invention relates to a method for the transmission of data with transmission error checking.").

         The patent explains that errors may occur when data is transmitted, for example, "through electromagnetic radiation, inadequacies in a storage medium (transmission in time), and errors in switching and transmission equipment." Id. at 1:31-34. The claimed invention allows for checking such errors by first generating supplementary data at the transmitting and receiving end of a transmission channel using a first and a second function, respectively. Id. at 1:10-20. The supplementary data that is generated at each end is then compared to see if they correspond with each other. Id. If they do not, then a transmission error may have occurred and the relevant data can be re-transmitted, if necessary. Id. at 1:43-46.

         The '662 patent also generally describes the principles of data transmission and error correction in the prior art. Id. at Fig. 1; 3:32-56. According to the patent, the concept of generating supplementary data to check for errors in data during transmission was already known. Id. at 1:21-22, 34-37. The patent provides examples of prior art methods for generating supplementary data like using parity bits and a cyclic redundancy code (CRC) generator. Id. at 1:37-46, 60-67.

         However, as the patent explains, these prior art systems and methods were not completely effective because transmission errors were sometimes not detected. The patent provides two specific instances when this occurred. One, referred to as "systematic errors, " is when the errors repeat themselves, and the other is when the data is altered, for example, compressed or encoded, during transmission. Id. at 1:47-2:15. According to the "object of the invention, " the claimed method "allows data to be checked for errors in a better way, and thus considerably increases the probability of transmission errors being detected, " is well-suited "for application to compressed data, " and can be "applied in a simple manner." Id. at 2:18-26.

         To achieve this objective, the '662 patent, unlike the prior art methods, varies the original data to create supplementary data. See Id. at 2:30-41. By varying the original data, the patent explains, the probability of detecting "systematic errors in particular increases considerably." Id. at 2:42-47.

         The four claims of the '662 patent are reproduced below:

1. A device for producing error checking based on original data provided in blocks with each block having plural bits in a particular ordered sequence, comprising:
a generating device configured to generate check data; and
a varying device configured to vary original data prior to supplying said original data to the generating device as varied data;
wherein said varying device includes a permutating device configured to perform a permutation of bit position relative to said particular ordered sequence for at least some of the bits in each of said blocks making up said original data without reordering any blocks of original data.
2. The device according to claim 1, wherein the varying device is further configured to modify the permutation in time.
3. The device according to claim 2, wherein the varying is further configured to modify the permutation based on the original data.
4. The device according to claim 3, wherein the permutating device includes a table in which subsequent permutations are stored.

         As can be seen, claim 1 claims a device having three components: a generating device, a varying device, and a permutating device. The generating device generates "check data, " which the specification also refers to as supplementary data. See '662 patent at 3:32-34, 37-39. The varying device varies the original data to create "varied data" and then sends the varied data to the generating device. To vary the data, the varying device uses a permutating device, which permutates the data by changing one or more bit positions in each data block without reordering the blocks. All three dependent claims recite devices that claim additional features of either the varying device or the permutating device. The devices in the dependent ...


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