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Judge Andrews construes claims relating to credit/debit/ATM card technology.

Judge Richard G. Andrews recently construed several claim terms relating to credit/debit/ATM card technology. Serverside Group Ltd., et al. v. Dimpledough, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-559-RGA (D. Del. Oct. 2, 2012). The Court first construed the term “financial transaction card” to mean “a transaction card (e.g., credit card, debit card, ATM card, or similar card), but not a prepaid bearer card.” Id. at 1. The Court found that the term “financial transaction card,” used in the preambles as a claim limitation to overcome prior art, was “essential to understanding the claim body; without the term, the claims could include a system for placing personalized images on any card material, not just financial transaction cards as is clearly intended in every claim and the specification.” Id. Based on its construction of “financial transaction card,” the Court found that no construction was needed for the claim term “financial transaction card production equipment.” Id. at 2.

The term “financial record of the remote customer that personalized the image” was construed to mean “record of financial information of the customer that personalized the image,” and the term “one way code” was construed to mean “a hash value created from customer information.” Id. at 2-3.

The Court also construed several means plus function terms:

“image processing means for providing an image, produced based on said instructions for manipulation, for application to the financial transaction card” was construed to have the function of “providing an image, based on instructions for manipulation, for application to the financial transaction card” and the associated structure of “an image processor (see, e.g., back end software 110 and image manipulation emulator 256).” Id. at 3.

“means for embedding the customer identifier in the personalized image” was construed to have a function of “embedding the customer identifier in the personalized image” and the structure “a back end server (such as server 1103 or 1203) that embeds the customer identifier in the personalized image, for example by embedding the identifier in a bar code, machine readable code, or metadata.” Id.

“computer program means for presenting to a remote customer the remote user interface / computer program means for presenting to a remote customer a user interface / computer program means for presenting to a remote user interface” were construed to have the function of “presenting to a remote customer or remote user a user interface” and the structure “a user interface (see, e.g., front end software 105 and Figs. 3-10).” Id. at 3-4.

“image instruction means for receiving instructions for manipulation of an image file” was construed to have the function of “receiving instructions for manipulation of an image file” and the structure “an image compilation server coupled to a communications link (see, e.g., image compilation server 108).” Id. at 4.

The Court added that its construction of these means plus function terms was “without prejudice to Defendants’ ability to argue the claims as construed are indefinite, with an expert witness who can aid the factfinder in understanding, inter alia, the claimed function and what one of ordinary skill would require to implement it.” Id. at 5.


Serverside Group Ltd., et al. v. Dimpledough, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-559-RGA (D. Del. Oct. 2, 2012).

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