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TQ Delta LLC v. 2Wire Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 26, 2019

TQ DELTA, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
2WIRE, INC., Defendant.

          Brian E. Farnan and Michael J. Farnan, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE; Peter J. McAndrews, Timothy J. Malloy, Thomas J. Wimbiscus, James P. Murphy, Paul W. McAndrews, Rajendra Chiplunkar, and Anna M. Targowska, MCANDREWS, HELD & MALLOY, LTD., Chicago, IL. Attorneys for Plaintiff.

          Jody C. Barillare, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, Wilmington, DE; Brett Schuman, Rachel M. Walsh, and Monte M.F. Cooper, GOODWIN PROCTER LLP, San Francisco, CA. Attorneys for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Presently before me are the Parties' summary judgment motions on the Family 1 Patents: Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment of No. Invalidity of Family 1 Patent Claims (D.I. 615 (briefing at D.I. 616, 655, 694)), Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment of Infringement of Family 1 Patent Claims (D.I. 620 (briefing at D.I. 622, 654, 693)), and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment of Invalidity of Claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 7, 899, 784 (D.I. 608 (briefing at 609, 664, 686)). The Parties' Daubert motions are also before me: Plaintiffs Motion to Preclude Certain Opinions of Dr. Krista S. Jacobsen (D.I. 597 (briefing at D.I. 598, 650, 691)) and Defendant's Motion to Preclude the Expert Testimony of Dr. Todor Cooklev for Family 1 (D.I. 618 (briefing at 619, 668, 683)). The Parties have fully briefed the issues. For the reasons set out below, I will grant Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment of Invalidity of Claim 1 of U.S. Patent No. 7, 899, 784 and dismiss as moot the remainder of the Parties' Family 1 motions.

         I. Background

         A. The '784 Patent

         Claim 1 of the 7, 889, 784 Patent ('"784 Patent") is the last remaining asserted claim in Family 1. (D.I. 609 at 2). It claims:

         1. A transceiver capable of transmitting test information over a communication channel using multicarrier modulation comprising:

a transmitter portion capable of transmitting a message, wherein the message comprises one or more data variables that represent the test information, wherein bits in the message are modulated onto DMT symbols using Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) with more than 1 bit per subchannel and wherein at least one data variable of the one or more data variables comprises an array representing Signal to Noise ratio per subchannel during Showtime information.

('784 Patent, claim 1 (disputed term italicized)).

         B. The Prior Art

         Plaintiff does not dispute that the references at issue are prior art to the '784 Patent. (See D.I. 664). The Parties also largely agree on the content of the prior art.

         1. U.S. Patent No. 6, 636, 603 ("Milbrandt")

         Milbrandt was filed on July 30, 1999 and is prior art to the '784 Patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 102(e) (pre-AIA). (D.I. 612-10). It teaches a system for "determining the transmit power of a communication device operating on digital subscriber lines." (Id. at 1:20-23). Milbrandt's Detailed Description of the Invention discloses:

Each of several central offices is coupled to a number of subscribers using subscriber lines. A system management server is coupled to each central office using a data link. A system management database is coupled to each central office using a data link and coupled to server using a data link. In general, database stores subscriber line information and communication device information defining the physical and operating characteristics of subscriber lines and communication devices of communication system, respectively. In one aspect of operation, system management server determines the approximate data rate capacity of selected subscriber lines for subscribers using subscriber line information stored in database. In another aspect of operation, server determines the optimal transmit power for a communication device operating on a subscriber line.

(Id. at 4:6-21 (figure element numbers omitted)). The stored "physical and operating characteristics of subscriber lines" include "attenuation information, noise information, received signal power spectrum density, Sf, or any other information describing the physical or operating characteristics of subscriber line at the one or more sub-frequencies over which the connection between modem[s] is established." (Id. at 11:38-45 (figure element numbers omitted)). One embodiment of the system described in Milbrandt expressly "support[s] communication using ADSL techniques that comply with ANSI Standard T1.413." (Id. at 9:31-34).

         2. U.S. Patent No. 6, 590, 893 ("Hwang")

         Hwang was filed on April 7, 1999 and is prior art to the '784 Patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 102(e) (pre-AIA). (D.I. 612-11). Hwang discloses "an adaptive transmission system used in a network" that employs discrete multi-tone (DMT) modulation. (Id. at 1:7-8, 3:52-54). The system uses a differential coder to encode an input bit stream into a predetermined number of tones. (Id. at 5:14-17). After the transmission of those tones, each tone of subsequent symbols transmits two bits of data using QAM signals. (Id. at 2:66-3:3; 5:25-44; 5:64-6:4).

         3. American National Standards Institute Tl.413-1995: Network and Customer Installation Interfaces-Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Metallic Interface ("Tl.413-1995")

         Tl.413-1995 is prior art to the '784 Patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 102(a)-(b) as it was approved on August 18, 1995 and published shortly thereafter. (D.I. 612-12 at 3; D.I. 609 at 9). Tl.413-1995 specifies requirements and optional capabilities of ADSL transceivers. (D.I. 612-12). One such requirement is the use of DMT modulation. (Id.). Tl.413-1995 also specifies that each subcarrier that is used to transmit data, whether downstream or upstream, carries at least two bits. (Id. at § 6.6.1).

         4. U.S. Patent No. 6, 434, 119 ("Wiese")

         Wiese is prior art to the '784 Patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 102(e) & (g) (pre-AIA) as it was filed on July 7, 1998 and claims priority to a March 19, 1998 provisional application. (D.I. 612-15). Wiese discloses "methods of initializing a connection between a remote modem and a central unit in a communication system that utilizes a multi-carrier modulation scheme." (Id. at Abstract). Part of that process involves the remote modem transmitting a message that contains a vector of detected signal to noise ratios back to the central unit, which then calculates ...


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