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Virentem Ventures, LLC v. Youtube, LLlC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

December 13, 2019

VIRENTEM VENTURES, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
YOUTUBE, LLC and GOOGLE LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Honorable Maryellen Noreika United States District Judge.

         At Wilmington this 13th day of December 2019:

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the claim terms of U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 683, 903 ("the '903 Patent"), 8, 068, 108 ("the '108 Patent"), 8, 345, 050 ("the '050 Patent"), 9, 785, 400 ("the '400 Patent"), 6, 598, 228 ("the '228 Patent"), 7, 100, 188 ("the '188 Patent"), 6, 801, 888 ("the '888 Patent") and 7, 299, 184 ("the '184 Patent") with agreed-upon constructions are construed as follows (see D.I. 125, Ex. A at 1-2):

1. "concepts [for a portion of the audio or audio-visual work] / concept information / conceptual information content" means "written transcript, raw text, keywords, phrases, or other representations of conceptual information" ('888 Patent, claims 15 & 17; '184 Patent, claims 5 & 22; '228 Patent, claim 7)
2. "presentation time parameter / the presentation time parameter" means '"the presentation time parameter' is the same presentation time parameter as 'a presentation time parameter"'('903 Patent, claims 1, 3, 12, 13 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1, 3, 8, 20, 25 & 36; '400 Patent 1, 3, 12 & 14)
3. "data time parameter / the data time parameter" means '"the data time parameter' is the same data time parameter as 'a data time parameter'" ('903 Patent, claims 1, 4, 7, 12, 13, 17 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1, 4, 8, 20, 25 & 36; '400 Patent, claims 1, 4, 7, 12, 15 & 18)
4. "default" means "normal" ('903 Patent, claims 1, 12, 13 & 22;' 108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '400 Patent, claims 1 & 12; '050 Patent, claims 1, 8, 20, 25 & 36)
5. "state values" means "a value that represents a level of service the user has purchased, or the feature set or model of user system purchased by the user" ('188 Patent, claims 1, 2 & 4)

         Further, as announced at the hearing on December 2, 2019, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the disputed claim terms of the '903, '108, '050, '400, '228, '188, '888 and '184 Patents, as well as U.S. Patent Nos. 8, 566, 885 ("the '885 Patent"), 7, 043, 433 ("the '433 Patent") and 9, 185, 380 ("the '380 Patent") (collectively, "the Patents-in-Suit") are construed as follows:

1. "time-scale modification / time-scale modified" means "speeding up or slowing down the playback rate" ('050 patent, claims 1, 8 & 20; '228 Patent, claim 33; '885 Patent, claim 1; '888 Patent, claims 15, 17 & 18)
2. "presentation rate" means "the speed at which media is played back in a time-scale modification system" ('903 Patent, claims 1, 7, 12, 13, 17 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1, 8, 20, 25, 34, 36 & 45; '400 Patent, claims 1, 7, 12 & 18; '228 Patent, claims 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 17, 31, 33 & 34; '188 Patent, claims 1 & 7; '885 Patent, claims 1, 11 & 13; '433 Patent, claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 & 9; '184 Patent, claims 1, 16 & 17; '380 Patent, claims 1*&2)
3. "time-scale modification rate" means "the speed at which media is played back in a time-scale modification system" ('888 Patent, claims 15, 16, 17 & 18)
4. "conceptual speed association data structure" means "a data structure that pairs a concept and a TSM rate or a concept and a presentation rate" ('184 Patent, claims 5, 16 & 22; '888 Patent, claims 15 & 17)
5. "guidance information" means "information that is used to communicate a playback rate for an entire media work or one or more specific portions of the media work" ('228 Patent, claims 3[*], 4, 7, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 31 & 34; '188 Patent, claim 1; '885 Patent, claims 1, 11 & 13)
6. "current time" means "a current position in the media content that can be expressed either as the time elapsed since the beginning of the media content presentation or as a location in the media content stream that is currently being played" ('903 Patent, claims 3, 4, 12 & 22; '050 Patent, claims 3 & 4; '400 Patent, claims 4, 14 & 15)
7. "rending system" means "a system for rendering temporal sequence presentation data" ('903 Patent, claims 1, 2, 12, 13, 14 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1, 2, 8, 20, 25 & 36; '400 Patent, claims 1, 2, 12 & 13)
8. "portion(s)" means "a part of any whole, either separated from or integrated with it" ('903 Patent, claims 1, 7, 12, 13, 17 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1, 8, 20, 25, 36, 40 & 41; '400 Patent, claims 1, 7, 12 & 18; '888 Patent, claims 15, 17 & 18; '433 Patent, claims 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 & 9; '184 Patent, claims 5, 8, 16, 17 & 22; '380 Patent, claims 1* & 2; '228 Patent, claims 5, 9, 12, 13 & 16; '188 Patent, claim 1; '885 Patent, claim 11)
9. "tangibly stored in a . . . computer-readable medium / computer-readable medium tangibly storing" shall have its plain and ordinary meaning, which includes storage in both non-volatile and volatile memory ('903 Patent, claims 1, 12, 13 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1 & 8; '400 Patent, claims 1 & 12)
10. "rate which causes a portion to be skipped" means "a rate of infinity or other indicium that will be similarly translated which directs the presentation system to skip a portion" ('433 Patent, claim 2)
11. "insistence information that specifies a measure of importance of utilizing presentation rate information" means "information that specifies the measure of importance of utilizing presentation rate information" ('228 Patent, claim 17; '885 Patent, claim 1)
12. "speed contour" means "information representing a desired playback rate for an audio or audio-visual work for some or all portions of the work" (' 184 Patent, claims 7, 8 & 17)
13. "temporal sequence presentation data" means "data having the following characteristics: (a) the purpose, utility, or semantics of the data is closely associated with its presentation - presentation involves rendering of the data to achieve some effect (including but not limited to constituting a visible and/or audible presentation that can be monitored by a human being); (b) there are a plurality of rendering processes capable of effecting an appropriate presentation of the data; (c) the data comprises a set of elements; (d) each data element has a Rendition Type that corresponds to a type of Renderer that can be used to render the data element - some common Rendition Types are Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) audio, MPEG video, and JPEG images; (e) one or more Rendition Types may be Time-Distinguished Rendition Types - Time-Distinguished Rendition Types are Rendition Types of Temporal Sequence Presentation Data whose intrinsic characteristics and whose natural rendition process make them preferred candidates for defining and maintaining a system-wide Current Time parameter (note that most audio Rendition Types are Time-Distinguished Rendition Types); (f) associated with each element is a Data Time - the Data Time of some elements may be explicitly represented as part of the element (such elements are called Timestamped Elements), and the Data Time of some elements may be derivable only by performing or simulating an appropriate rendering process on all or part of the Presentation Data (such elements are called Sequential Elements); (g) the elements have a partial ordering, so that when performing rendering operations on the data it is possible to determine i) which data elements to deliver to the Renderers to begin the presentation process; and ii) given that the presentation process has reached a certain point, which data elements to deliver to the Renderers next to continue the presentation process; and (h) associated with each element is a Rendition Period - the Rendition Period is the length of time the rendering process should last for that element, where the Rendition Period of an element may be specified in many different ways, including but not limited to the following: (i) as a value explicitly stored as part of the element, (ii) as a fixed value associated with that type of data element, and stored in a header field of the Presentation Data, (iii) as a fixed value associated with a Presentation System, (iv) a difference between the Data Time of the element and the Data Time of a following element that would be submitted to the same Renderer in the course of presentation (i.e., the element is rendered until there is another element to be rendered by the same Renderer), (v) as a fixed property of the rendering process" ('903 Patent, claims 1, 7, 12, 13, 17 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1, 8, 20, 25, 31*, 36, 40, 41 & 42; '400 Patent, claims 1, 7, 12 & 18)
14. "media work content properties" shall have its plain and ordinary meaning ('380 Patent, claims 1* & 2; '433 Patent, claims 8 & 9)
15. "component" means "a part of the rendering system as a whole" ('903 Patent, claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 14 & 22; '108 Patent, claims 1, 3, 5 & 7; '050 Patent, claims 1, 2, 3, 4 & 8; '400 Patent, claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 13, 14 & 15)

         The parties briefed the issues (see D.I. 155) and submitted an appendix containing both intrinsic and extrinsic evidence (see D.I. 156 & 157; see also D.I. 165, 154, 125 & 118), [1] and Defendants also provided a tutorial[2] describing the relevant technology (see D.I. 153). The Court carefully reviewed all submissions in connection with the parties' contentions regarding the disputed claim terms, heard oral argument (see D.I. 169) and applied the following legal standards in reaching its decision:

         I. LEGAL STANDARDS

         "[T]he ultimate question of the proper construction of the patent [is] a question of law," although subsidiary fact-finding is sometimes necessary. Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 837-38 (2015). "[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." Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312-13 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Although "the claims themselves provide substantial guidance as to the meaning of particular claim terms," the context of the surrounding words of the claim also must be considered. Id. at 1314. "[T]he ordinary meaning of a claim term is its meaning to the ordinary artisan after reading the entire patent." Id. at 1321 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         The patent specification "is always highly relevant to the claim construction analysis . . . [as] it is the single best guide to the meaning of a disputed term." Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic, Inc., 90 F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1996). It is also possible that "the specification may reveal a special definition given to a claim term by the patentee that differs from the meaning it would otherwise possess. In such cases, the inventor's lexicography governs." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1316. "Even when the specification describes only a single embodiment, [however, ] the claims of the patent will not be read restrictively unless the patentee has demonstrated a clear intention to limit the claim scope using words or expressions of manifest exclusion or restriction." Hill-Rom Servs., Inc. v. Stryker Corp., 755 F.3d 1367, 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad, Inc., 358 F.3d 898, 906 (Fed. Cir. 2004)).

         In addition to the specification, a court "should also consider the patent's prosecution history, if it is in evidence." Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 980 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370 (1996). The prosecution history, which is "intrinsic evidence, . . . consists of the complete record of the proceedings before the [Patent and Trademark Office] and includes the prior art cited during the examination of the patent." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317. "[T]he prosecution history can often inform the meaning of the claim language by demonstrating how the inventor understood the invention and whether the inventor limited the invention in the course of prosecution, making the claim scope narrower than it would otherwise be." Id.

         In some cases, courts "will need to look beyond the patent's intrinsic evidence and to consult extrinsic evidence in order to understand, for example, the background science or the meaning of a term in the relevant art during the relevant time period." Teva, 135 S.Ct. at 841. Extrinsic evidence "consists of all evidence external to the patent and prosecution history, including expert and inventor testimony, dictionaries, and learned treatises." Markman, 52 F.3d at 980. Expert testimony can be useful "to ensure that the court's understanding of the technical aspects of the patent is consistent with that of a person of skill in the art, or to establish that a particular term in the patent or the prior art has a particular meaning in the pertinent field." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1318. Nonetheless, courts must not lose sight of the fact that "expert reports and testimony [are] generated at the time of and for the purpose of litigation and thus can suffer from bias that is not present in intrinsic evidence." Id. Overall, although extrinsic evidence "may be useful to the court," it is "less reliable" than intrinsic evidence, and its consideration "is unlikely to result in a reliable interpretation of patent claim scope unless considered in the context of the intrinsic evidence." Id. at 1318-19. Where the intrinsic record unambiguously describes the scope of the patented invention, reliance on any extrinsic evidence is improper. See Pitney Bowes, Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., 182 F.3d 1298, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (citing Vitronics, 90 F.3d at 1583).

         II. THE COURT'S RULING

         The Court's rulings regarding the disputed claim term of the Patents-in-Suit were announced from the bench at the conclusion of the hearing as follows:

Thank you for the arguments today. They are helpful. At issue we have eleven patents in three families, [3] and fifteen disputed claims.
I am prepared to rule on each of those disputes. I will not be issuing a written opinion, but I will issue an order stating my rulings. I want to emphasize before I announce my decisions that while I am not issuing a written opinion, we have followed a full and thorough process before making the decisions I am about to state. I have reviewed each of the patents in dispute as well as the earlier '769[4]patent cited in the parties' briefing. I have also reviewed the portions of the prosecution history submitted. There was full briefing on each of the disputed terms. There was an extensive appendix that included papers submitted in the prior ...

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