Posted On: May 6, 2013 by Samantha G. Wilson

Judge Andrews construes claim terms of software patent

Judge Richard G. Andrews recently issued a claim construction opinion in Microsoft Corporation and Google, Inc. v. Geotag, Inc., C.A. No. 11-175-RGA (D. Del. May 3, 2013), in which plaintiffs filed a declaratory action asserting non-infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,930,474, which “discloses computer software informational databases integrated with search engine technology that allow users to find points of interest according to desired geographic regions.” Id. at 2. The parties organized the disputed terms into five groups. Id. at 3.

The “hierarchy” phrases, id. at 3-10:
-“a database of information organized into a hierarchy of geographical areas wherein entries to each one of said geographical areas is further organized into topics”
-“narrower geographical area”
-“geographical area of relatively smaller expanse”
-“broader geographical area”
-“geographical area of relatively larger expanse”

The “dynamic replication” phrases, id. at 10-16:
-“dynamically replicating”
-“dynamically replicating an entry from broader geographical area into said geographical area.”
-“wherein within said hierarchy of geographical areas at least one of said entries associated with a broader geographical area is dynamically replicated into at least one narrower geographical area”
-“wherein at least one of said entries in said geographical area of relatively larger expanse is dynamically replicated into at least one of said geographical areas of smaller expanse”

“Topics” phrases, id. at 16-18:
-“topics”
-“wherein said topics are hierarchically organized”

“Entries” phrases, id. at 18-23:
-“entry” and “entries”

Finally, the Court construed nine additional terms and phrases, which, at plaintiffs’ urging, it construed according to their plain and ordinary meanings, id. at 23-25:
-“database”
-“on-line information”
-“organizer”
-“search engine”
-“virtual and geographic environment”
-“said search engine further configured to select one of said hierarchy of geographical areas prior to selection of a topic so as to provide a geographical search area”
-“said search engine further configured to select at least one geographical area in said hierarchy of geographical areas so as to define a geographical search area”
-“directing a search engine executing in a computer to select one or more of said geographical areas so as to select a geographical search area”

Microsoft Corporation and Google, Inc. v. Geotag, Inc., C.A. No. 11-175-RGA (D. Del. May 3, 2013)