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In Magnetar Technologies Corp., et al. v. Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 07-127-LPS-MPT (D. Del. Feb. 7, 2014), Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge issued a report and recommendation for the parties’ motions for summary judgment of infringement, non-infringement, and invalidity. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants’ roller coasters and other amusement park rides infringed the two patents-in-suit (the “‘125 Patent” and the “‘237 Patent”).

As to the ‘125 Patent, the Court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment of invalidity, accepting the majority of defendants’ arguments. First, the Court concluded that the only asserted claim included an error that rendered it fatally indefinite under Section 112. This claim referenced both “a track having two parallel rails” as well as “magnet assemblies mounted between said tracks.” Id. at 4 (emphasis added). Defendants argued that “the plain error is that the magnets cannot be mounted between plural ‘tracks,’ because there is only one track recited.” Id. The Court agreed with the argument that “there are purportedly at least two reasonable ways to correct the error, which would result in corrected claims of different scopes.” Id. at 5. Therefore, “the appropriate correction would be subject to reasonable debate” and the claim was invalid as being insolubly ambiguous. Id. at 9. Second, the Court concluded that the patent failed to name an inventor. See id. at 9-17. Third, defendants argued that the patent was invalid under Section 102’s on-sale bar, pointing to alleged sales to United Airlines and to the City of Denver. Id. at 19. The Court agreed that plaintiffs had in fact made a commercial offer of sale to United Airlines, even though no fixed price had been set. Id. at 27-29. It denied summary judgment as to the alleged sale to the City of Denver, however, finding insufficient evidence. Id. at 29. Finally, the Court concluded that the asserted claim was obvious in light of various combinations of prior art. See id. at 29-38.

The Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment of infringement of the ‘125 Patent by certain accused roller coaster rides. Plaintiffs argued that defendants had offered no facts as to why these rides did not infringe, citing, inter alia, defendants’ lack of substantive non-infringement contentions. Id. at 40-41; 42-43. In response, defendants argued that plaintiffs had never articulated their infringement contentions during discovery, pointing to plaintiffs’ interrogatory responses as well as their infringement expert’s report, and had raised new infringement arguments for the first time in their summary judgment opening brief. Id. at 41-44. The Court agreed that “by not disclosing the specific evidentiary support for their infringement contentions until this time, defendants have been deprived of a meaningful opportunity to respond to that evidence” and therefore denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. Id. at 44. Notably, in a separate opinion issued on the same day (D.I. 404), the Court had recommended striking the report of plaintiff’s infringement expert, and therefore did not consider that report. Id. at 40.

The Court granted-in-part defendants’ motion for non-infringement of the ‘125 Patent with respect to different accused roller coaster rides. Id. at 38. Defendant articulated three different categories of these rides, arguing that each category did not infringe. The Court granted the motion as to one category because it had struck plaintiffs’ infringement expert report, and there was no other testimony to support infringement. Id. at 49. As to the second category, defendants based their non-infringement argument on a certain interpretation of a term not construed by the Court. Id. at 49-50. The Court found that questions of fact existed as to the claim interpretation and therefore denied the motion as to this category of rides. Id. at 51. As to the third and final category, the Court granted summary judgment as to two of the three rides in this category, id. at 53-54, and denied summary judgment on the third, finding that genuine issues of material fact existed, id. at 54-55.

As to the ‘237 Patent, the Court granted defendants’ motion as to non-infringement and denied their motion as to invalidity of this patent. As to non-infringement, the Court found that defendants had shown that the accused products did not meet all limitations of the asserted claims. See id. at 70-74. As to invalidity, defendants argued that this patent failed to meet the written description requirement if the accused claims were read to cover the accused products, explaining that the “broad construction [of a term] plaintiffs successfully argued for is not supported by the specification.” Id. at 58-59. The Court found that defendants had not met their burden in this respect, and denied the motion. Id. at 59-60. The Court also found that questions of fact existed as to whether the patent was obvious. Id. at 64-65.

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In a recent memorandum order, Judge Leonard P. Stark overruled plaintiff’s first and second objections, and affirmed Magistrate Judge Mary P. Thynge’s Orders from April 18, 2012 and August 22, 2012. Magnetar Technologies Corp. et al. v. Six Flags Theme Parks Inc., et al., C.A. No. 07-127-LPS-MPT (D. Del. Feb. 7, 2014). The issues addressed focused heavily on (i) materials produced by third-party Acacia Research Corporation—including the “Zelley memorandum”—in response to a subpoena in another case in California; (ii) the deposition of Geoffrey Zelley, an associate of the firm that previously represented plaintiff in the instant matter. In the April 18, 2012 Order, Judge Thynge found that “the factual part of the Zelley memorandum was discoverable, but the impressions of counsel contained in the document were not.” Id. at 2 n.1 Further, Judge Thynge allowed the Zelley deposition to move forward with certain limitations. Id. Plaintiffs objected to these rulings, arguing that “Mr. Zelley’s deposition should not go forward due to the risk of a waiver of attorney client privilege and attorney work product, that the Zelley memorandum and other assertedly privileged documents should be returned, and that Defendants should not be able to further use such documents.” Id. at 2. Defendant thereafter moved to compel production of certain document’s, and Judge Thynge granted that motion in part. Id. at 2-3 (discussed previously here). In response, plaintiffs filed their second objections. Plaintiffs specifically objected to Judge Thynge’s ruling related to the destruction of documents, which essentially stated that while there was no bad faith by plaintiffs in connection with the destruction of certain documents, a sanction was still warranted, which included producing some documents containing privileged attorney-client communications. Id. at 3.

Judge Stark affirmed Judge Thynge’s rulings, finding they were “neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law.” Id. at 5. For example, with regard to Judge Thynge’s April 2012 decision, Judge Stark found that Judge Thynge “properly considered Defendants’ substantial need for the information contained in the Zelley Memo and permitted the deposition to go forward on that basis,” and that she also “properly reasoned that Plaintiffs’ spoliation of evidence and other litigation misconduct have created a substantial need for the information contained in the Zelley Memo- information that is no longer available to the Defendants by any other means.” Id. Judge Stark also cited portions of Judge Thynge’s August 2012 order with approval, for example, where she explained that the subject documents “were clearly under the control of [plaintiff] at the time of their destruction. Although the instant matter does not involve the typical intentional withholding of the documents as is routinely involved for an inference, [plaintiff’s] control of the documents and the potential prejudice to defendants, makes an inference a possible sanction for spoliation.” Id. at 5-6. As Judge Stark further explained, “Judge Thynge thoughtfully exercised her discretion in concluding that ‘[a]lthough the absence of evidence of bad faith spoliation does not warrant dismissal or entering an unfavorable judgment, the lack of reasonable preservation measures and prejudice weighs in favor of a lesser sanction.’” Id. at 6.

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In Juniper Networks, Inc. v. Palo Alto Networks, Inc., C.A. No. 11-1258-SLR (D. Del. Feb. 6, 2014), Judge Sue L. Robinson construed several disputed terms and issued summary judgment rulings with respect to the patents-in-suit: United States Patent Nos. 8,077,723 (“the ‘723 patent”); 7,779,459 (“the ‘459 patent”); 7,650,634 (“the ‘634 patent”); 7,302,700 (“the ‘700 patent”); 6,772,347 (“the ‘347 patent”); 7,734,752 (“the ‘752 patent”); and 7,107,612 (“the ‘612 patent”). The patents-in-suit are related to “computer network and systems using hardware, software, or combinations thereof.” Id. at 13. Specifically, Judge Robinson construed the following terms:

The ‘634 Patent
– “[T]wo or more security devices” means “at least two physical devices, each of which performs a security function.”
– Judge Robinson concluded that with respect to the following limitation, the “plain meaning of ‘forwarding’ does not compel the conclusion that the ‘extraction’ step must be performed first”: “[E]xtracting flow instructions, a session ID and flow information, for the two or more security devices, from the single flow record and forwarding the flow instructions, the session ID and the flow information to the respective ones of the two or more security devices to facilitate processing of the data packet.” Judge Robinson found further support for the construction from the specification, which explained that “the steps of the invention can be performed in a different order and still achieve desirable results.” Id. at 17.

The ‘612 Patent
-“[R]ules” means “actions to be applied against packets, as distinct from a look-up table, which is a data structure that stores information.”
The ‘752 Patent
– “[A] primary portion that stores information associated with the operation of the first device-implemented session module, when the primary security system is operating in a primary security mode” means “the portion of the flow table that stores information for processing packets when all security devices are operational.”
-“[A] secondary portion that stores information associated with the operation of the first device-implemented session module, when the primary security system is functioning in a failover mode” means “a separate portion of the same flow table that stores information for processing packets if there is a failover event.”

The ‘723 Patent
-“[F]irst engine” and “second engine” mean “a first processor” and “a second processor,” respectively.
-“[A] tag” and “associat[e] … a tag” mean “a structure for holding data” and “form a connection with a
tag,” respectively.

The ‘700 and ‘459 Patents
-“[S]ecurity screening” means “inspection by applying one or more security policies.”
-“[W]ithout performing the security screening” means “without inspection.”
Judge Robinson granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of assignor estoppel, which negated defendant’s invalidity defenses. Moa and Zuk – two individuals who previously worked for the plaintiff corporation – left the plaintiff corporation to found and work for the defendant corporation (“PAN”). Judge Robinson explained that Mao and/or Zuk are “listed as inventors on each of the ‘723, ‘459, ‘700, ‘347, and ‘612 patents,” and each “assigned ‘entire right, title and interest’ of each of the claimed inventions to either NetScreen or Juniper for ‘valuable consideration.’” Id. at 5. Judge Robinson explained that “Mao requested the title of sole founder when he joined PAN, [and] he and PAN have consistently held him out to be at least a founder.” Id. at 6. Judge Robinson concluded that “this fact is dispositive of the issue of privity.” Id. However, “[f]or completeness,” Judge Robinson also considered the “balance of the equities and the relationship of Moa and PAN.” Id. Judge Robinson explained that in this regard the relevant “query is whether Moa was closely involved in the development of products and with the company,” and found that “Mao testified to his involvement in the product’s development (including specific examples of product features) and his critical role with PAN.” Id. at 7. Judge Robinson thus held that the Moa was in privity with PAN, and the patents at issue were subject to assignor estoppel. Id. Further, Judge Robinson found the ‘723 patent was subject to assignor estoppel despite the fact that Zuk declined to execute an assignment and oath. Id. at 7-8. As Judge Robinson explained, Zuk’s “employment contract properly assigned the patent to Juniper.” Id. at 8. Having granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of assignor estoppel, Judge Robinson denied the competing motions for summary judgment of validity as moot. Id. at 8 n.9.

Finding genuine issues of material fact to exist, Judge Robinson denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of infringement. Id. at 41. Judge Robinson also denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement, with a few exceptions. Applying the doctrine of prosecution history estoppel to the ‘634 patent, Judge Robinson held that based on amendments made during reexamination and court’s construction of “two or more security devices,” plaintiff was precluded “from arguing at trial that a single security device satisfies the ‘two or more security devices’ claim limitations using the doctrine of equivalents.” Id. at 20. Similarly, with respect to the ‘752 patent, Judge Robinson held that an amendment and the court’s construction “requiring that the secondary portion be separate from the primary portion, prevents Juniper from arguing at trial that a flow table without portions satisfies the claim language under the doctrine of equivalents.” Id. at 30. Judge Robinson also granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of the ‘459 and ‘700 patent under the doctrine of equivalents, since “[t]he prosecution history . . . and the court’s construction forecloses argument by Juniper that intra-zone packets may be inspected and still meet these claim limitations under the doctrine of equivalents.” Id. at 39.

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Magistrate Judge Thynge recently recommended the denial of the defendants’ motion for summary judgment based on failure to mark and laches. Magnetar Technologies Corp. v. Six Flags Theme Parks Inc., Civ. No. 07-127-LPS-MPT (D. Del. Feb. 7, 2014). The plaintiffs were the assignee and its field-limited exclusive licensee of U.S. Patent No. 5,277,125. With respect to marking, the defendants argued that the original patent owner did not comply with the marking statute, 35 U.S.C § 287(a), because it failed to mark a baggage claim system (the “IABHS”) it sold to the Denver International Airport in the early 1990s, and then never corrected that alleged failure during periodic servicing and provisioning of parts for the IABHS over the years. As a result, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs could not recover any damages relating to infringement before 2007 when the defendants received actual notice of the patent-at-issue and the plaintiffs’ infringement claims. The plaintiffs disagreed, and argued that the original patent owner sold and installed the IABHS before the issuance of the patent-at-issue, such that marking was not required under § 287(a), and further that the marking statute imposed no requirement to mark the IABHS after the issuance of the patent during the course of servicing and the provision of parts.

Magistrate Judge Thynge agreed with the plaintiffs that if the IABHS was sold and installed before the issuance of the ‘125 patent, marking was not required at that time or at any subsequent time during the course of servicing. However, Judge Thynge found that the record was not clear with respect to whether the IABHS was sold and installed prior to or subsequent to the issuance of the patent. Id. at 6. As a result, if a jury were to find that “the [IABHS] was made or sold subsequent to the issuance of the patent, damages may be limited accordingly[]” under § 287(a). Id. at 13.

Judge Thynge also recommended denial of the defendants’ laches motion, finding genuine issues of material fact existed regarding whether the original patent owner or the plaintiffs had constructive knowledge of the allegedly infringing roller coasters (especially given that neither plaintiff worked in the same field as the defendants), and whether the roller coasters’ infringing components were “open and notorious to the public.” Id. at 21-22. Based on this and other considerations, Judge Thynge found that in this case “laches is best considered based upon a fully developed record.” Id. at 26.

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Judge Stark recently ruled on defendant Rackspace’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint filed by plaintiff Clouding IP. Judge Stark had previously granted a motion to dismiss the first amended complaint in this case with respect to indirect infringement because the complaint did not plead facts from which the Court could infer intent, but gave Clouding IP leave to amend. Following Clouding IP’s filing of a second amended complaint, Rackspace again moved to dismiss, and Judge Stark has now denied that motion. Clouding IP, LLC v. Rackspace Hosting, Inc., et al., C.A. No.12-675-LPS, Memo. Op. at 1 (D. Del. Feb. 6, 2014).

As Judge Stark framed the issue, “Rackspace’s motion presents a narrow issue as to whether Clouding failed to sufficiently plead the element of intent for its inducement claims in the Second Amended Complaint.” Id. at 4. Judge Stark, however, disagreed with Rackspace’s argument, noting that “courts in this District have held that to plead indirect infringement based on conduct after a complaint was filed a party need only allege ‘a defendant’s receipt of the complaint and [its] decision to continue its conduct despite the knowledge gleaned from the complaint.’” Id. (citing Apeldyn Corp. v. Sony Corp., 852 F. Supp. 2d 568, 574 (D. Del. 2012); Walker Digital, LLC v. Facebook, Inc., 852 F. Supp. 2d 559, 565 (D. Del. 2012)). Clouding IP met this hurdle by “alleg[ing] Rackspace’s knowledge of the original complaint.” Id. Indeed, “[t]he Court is not presented with a pleading which merely contains ‘a formulaic recitation of a cause of action’s elements.’” Moreover, the Federal Circuit’s decision in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 720 F.3d 1361, 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2013), which held that “the district court erred in preventing Cisco from presenting evidence during the second trial of its good-faith belief of invalidity to rebut Commil’s allegations of induced infringement,” should not be “expand[ed] . . . into a pleading requirement.” Id. at 6. Accordingly, Judge Stark denied the motion to dismiss the claims of induced infringement.

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Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge recently considered defendants’ motion to exclude the testimony of Magnetar’s lay opinion witness — the founder and President of Magnetar, and named inventor on one of the patents-in-suit. Magnetar Techs. Corp., et al. v. Six Flags Theme Parks Inc., et al., C.A. No. 07-127-LPS-MPT (D. Del. Feb. 7, 2014). The witness had a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and 43 years of experience working as an engineer. Id. at 2. Magnetar disclosed the witness with a list of 14 possible subject areas for his testimony. Defendants objected to four categories:

(1) relationship of Magnetar’s brakes to claim 3 of the ‘125 patent; (2) advantages of magnetic brakes over other types of brakes, including friction brakes; (3) importance of roller coasters to amusement park rides; and, (4) importance of magnetic brakes in the construction of roller coasters.

Id. at 5.

Judge Thyne analyzed the relevance of the proffered testimony under the Georgia-Pacific factors. Judge Thynge found the witness’s testimony relevant to factors one through three, seven and fifteen because his testimony regarding why he sought a license and the established royalty rate is relevent to a hypothetical negotiation. Id. at 6-9. Judge Thynge found, however, that the witness’s testimony was irrelevant under factors nine and ten. Id. at. 10-11. His testimony related to “the advantages of magnetic brakes over other types of brakes in commercial rides,” rather than the advantages of the patents-in-suit compared to other technology. Id. at 10 Because factor nine requires “a nexus . . . between magnetic brakes in general and the patented technology in the instant matter[,]” the witness’s testimony was irrelevant. Id. Judge Thynge also found the witness’s testimony irrelevant under factor eight, which requires evidence of the established profitability, commercial success and popularity of the patented product. Id. at 12. Likewise, the witness’s testimony was irrelevant under factor thirteen for failing to offer evidence “attributing revenue to non-patented elements of roller coasters.” Id. at 13.

Judge Thynge then analyzed whether the relevant categories of the witness’s testimony was appropriate lay opinion testimony under Federal Rule of Evidence 701. Id. at 17. Rule 701(a) requires the witness to have first-hand knowledge such that “the witness’s perception provide[s] a truly rational basis for his or her opinion.” Id. at 17-18. Judge Thynge found the witness qualifed under Rule 701(a) because he had “more than mere first-hand knowledge of the relationship of Magnetar’s brakes to claim 3 of the [patent-in-suit]–he directly participated in negotiations of the license agreement between Magnetar and G&T.” Id. Judge Thynge also found the witness qualified under Rule 701(b). The witness had “sufficient personal knowledge of the [patent-in-suit], Magnetar’s brakes, and the license agreement between Magnetar and G&T.” Id. at 19.

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Judge Stark recently considered plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend its complaint to add allegations of five patents related to the one patent already at issue. Greatbatch Ltd. v. AVX Corp., et al., C.A. No. 13-723-LPS (D. Del. Feb. 4, 2014). Plaintiff filed its motion two weeks before the deadline to seek leave to amend set forth in the scheduling order, and after it reviewed the core technical documents produced by defendant. Id. at 1. Defendant argued that it would be predjudiced by the addition of five patents because the present schedule “ha[d] been fashioned for a single patent case[.]” Id. at 2. The Court granted the motion, adding the five additional patents, but also agreed that the current schedule should be vacated. Id. at 2-3. Judge Stark ordered the parties to meet and confer and submit a proposed scheduling order. Id. at 3.

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In a series of decisions in Inventio AG v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation, C.A. No. 08-874-RGA, Judge Richard G. Andrews ruled on motions in limine, clarified previous orders, and construed disputed claim terms. The two patents-in-suit relate to elevator installation.

The Court had previously ruled that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over unasserted claims, and therefore did not address an alleged best mode violation in these claims relating to the claim term “advance selector.” Defendant sought “clarification of whether the Court’s holding is simply that the four unasserted claims are not in the case, or whether [defendant] cannot assert a best mode violation relating to the ‘advance selector’ for the claims that have been asserted.” Inventio AG v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation, C.A. No. 08-874-RGA, Order at 1-2 (D. Del. Feb. 6, 2014) (“Feb. 6 Order”) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). The Court explained that its “holding was simply that the Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over unasserted claims. However, as the Defendant indicates that there is a disagreement between the parties regarding whether best mode can be raised regarding the presence of an ‘advance selector,’ for the asserted claims, the Court will address this issue.” Id. at 2. This term did not appear in the asserted claims, and the Court had not construed any claim terms to require an advance selector. Therefore, the asserted claims did not require an advance selector and there was no best mode violation. Id. at 2. In a separate Order following the case’s pretrial conference, the Court further clarified that defendant was “precluded from arguing that any aspect of the asserted claims can be invalidated for failure to describe the best mode of an ‘advance selector.’” Inventio AG v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation, C.A. No. 08-874-RGA, Order at 1 (D. Del. Feb. 7, 2014) (“Feb. 7 Order”).

Defendant also sought clarification regarding the Court’s previous damages memorandum. Defendant interpreted the Court’s order to limit plaintiff’s damages to a certain range that reflected a reasonable royalty. Feb. 6 Order at 2. The Court clarified that it “did not limit the Plaintiff to a specific amount of damages, but instead held that the royalty base may not include the services contract revenues.” Id.

Defendant also brought motions in limine to exclude the testimony of plaintiff’s damages expert and to exclude his supplemental report. As to testimony, defendant argued that plaintiff’s expert based his reasonable royalty calculation on allegedly infringing activities that had already been excluded by the Court in a prior order. Id. at 3-4. The Court explained that this “previous order did not exclude any evidence, but instead acted to limit further discovery into the unaccused elevator modernization projects. Thus, it is appropriate for [this expert] to testify regarding these other bids in order to provide context regarding the accused projects and the related financial issues. The Defendant is free to object at trial if [the expert] testifies about issues in which he is not an expert.” Id. at 4. The Court did not consider whether the damages expert’s use of late-produced documents should be a basis for exclusion because “[a] Daubert motion is not the proper vehicle to raise a possible discovery violation.” Id. at 5. On the other hand, the Court excluded plaintiff’s expert’s discussion of the size and revenues of defendant because the Court found that the expert has not used this information to render his conclusion or, alternatively, because this information’s prejudice to defendant outweighed its probative value under FRE 403. Id. at 5. As to the expert’s supplemental report, defendant argued that it added new material. The Court disagreed, finding that it only clarified issues, and denied the motion. Id. at 6.

Plaintiff also moved to preclude the testimony of defendant’s damages expert, arguing that the expert improperly based his analysis on a non-comparable license and that he had not explained why other comparable agreements were not considered. Id. at 6. The license at issue was one between plaintiff and its sister company. Id. at 7. The Court denied plaintiff’s motion, finding the expert “at least minimally connects the license in question to the patents-in-suit and rather than simply extract a royalty rate from the previous license, uses the license as only a single component of his entire analysis.” Id. at 8. The Court also rejected the argument that the expert should have discussed other potentially comparable licenses. Id. at 8-9.

In a separate Order, the Court also granted defendant’s motion in limine to exclude evidence related to certain elevators, because plaintiff had presented no evidence that these elevators embodied the patents-in-suit. Feb. 7 Order at 1. The Court explained that it would “reconsider the matter if the Plaintiff puts on evidence that shows the Avenue of the Americas elevator modernization is an embodiment of the asserted patent claims.” Id. at 2.

Finally, the Court construed the following disputed terms:

“the elevator installation having at least one elevator and at least one elevator control for controlling the elevator in response to call reports generated by hall call transmitters and car call transmitters”
“car call transmitter”
“destination call report(s)”
“modernized” /“modernizing”
“modernizing device”
“a device for temporarily operating an elevator installation during modernization”
“a system for modernizing an elevator installation”
“a method for modernizing an elevator installation”
“elevator installation”
“call report”
“floor terminal”
“at least one of [A] and [B]”
“floor terminal . . . for at least one of the input of destination call reports and for recognition of identification codes of users;”
“floor terminal. .. operative for at least one of input of destination call reports and recognition of identification codes of passengers”
“computing unit … for at least one of evaluating the destination call reports and association of destination floors with recognized ones of the identification codes”
“identification code”
“recognition of identification codes of passengers”
“computing unit”
“destination signal”
“interrupting at least one existing electrical floor call transmitter line between at least one floor call transmitter and the elevator control”
“interrupting at least one existing car call transmitter line between at least one car call transmitter and the elevator control”
“the elevator control being disconnected from the hall call transmitters and the car call transmitters of the elevator installation”
“existing electrical floor call transmitter line”
“existing car call transmitter line”
“floor call transmitter line input”
“car call transmitter line input”
“hall call transmitter”
“performing said steps a. through c. [of claim 1] for each elevator car and associated elevator control of an elevator installation in succession whereby the elevator installation is modernized in a modular manner”
“read” or “reading”
“temporarily”
UPDATED: Judge Andrews issued amended claim constructions on February 20, 2014
Inventio AG v. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation, C.A. No. 08-874-RGA (D. Del. Feb. 4, 2014).

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Judge Richard G. Andrews recently construed several claims terms across five patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 5,793,853; 5,742,605; 6,108,339; 6,452,931; and 6,870,832. Sprint Communications Company L.P. v. Comcast IP Holdings I, LLC et al., C.A. No. 12-1013-RGA, Mem. Op. (D. Del. Jan. 28, 2014). Judge Andrews construed the terms consistently across the patents at issue, unless otherwise noted. Specifically, Judge Andrews construed the disputed claim terms as follows:

U.S. Patent No. 5,793,853

-“primary network element” means “[t]he first network element to receive the service request.”

-“operator center” means “[a] network element providing telecommunications services.”

-“means for assigning an identification key to the primary and secondary records” is a means-plus-function limitation. The function is “assigning an identification key to the primary and secondary records,” and the structure is “a network element comprising a counter device as disclosed at 5:61-6:9 and equivalents thereof.”

-“means for comparing the identification keys assigned to the records” is a means-plus-function limitation. The function is “comparing the identification keys assigned to primary and secondary records” and the structure is “a merge processor (as disclosed at item 42 in Figures 1 and 2) and equivalents thereof.”

-“means for merging associated records” is a means-plus-function limitation. The function is “merging records that are associated by reference to information included in their identification keys” and the structure is “a merge processor (as disclosed at item 42 in Figures 1 and 2) and equivalents thereof.”

U.S. Patent Nos. 5,742,605, 6,108,339, and 6,452,931

-“[SONET] ring” means “[a] self-healing SO NET architecture connecting ring terminals in a loop in which each ring terminal in the loop is directly connected only to the adjacent ring terminal(s) in each direction around the loop.”

-“span” means “[t]he logical connection between ring terminals.”

-“ring terminal[s]” mean “[a] network element that includes a SO NET add/dropmux (ADM) and is capable of receiving, switching, grooming, and transmitting SO NET traffic on the connected SONET spans.”

-“are stacked within a single fiber route” means “[o]ccupying at least a portion of the same fiber route.”

-“are stacked within a single physical route” means “[o]ccupying at least a portion of the same physical route.”

-“work line” / “protect line” means “[a] line of a ring over which traffic is transported when there is no interruption in the ring.” / “A line of a ring allocated to transport the traffic in the event the work line of the ring becomes unavailable due to an interruption in the ring.”

-Judge Andrews found the following two terms indefinite: (i) “rings [that] individually encompass geographic areas that are large[r] than a LATA” / “rings [that] individually encompass geographic areas that are larger than a metropolitan area” and (ii) “wherein a plurality of the rings individually encompass geographic areas that are operational to connect two non-adjacent LA T As on a single ring” I “wherein a plurality of the rings individually encompass geographic areas that are operational to connect two metropolitan areas on a single ring.”

U.S. Patent No. 6,870,832

-“software agent” means “[a] software interface between a session manager and a telephony card.”

-“communication hub” means “[e]quipment that stores and executes the software agent.”

“session manager” means “[a] platform that controls a communications network.”

-Judge Andrews also found that six disputed terms did not require any construction. See Mem. Op. at 22-25.

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In a recent memorandum opinion, Judge Sue L. Robinson construed three disputed claim terms across U.S. Patent Nos. 6,044,382; 5,805,676; 5,987,103; and 7,334,024, which each relate to telecommunications technologies. Cyberfone Systems, LLC v. ZTE (USA) Inc., et al., C.A. Nos. 11-827, 11-830, 11-833, 11-834-SLR (D. Del. Feb. 4, 2014). Specifically, Judge Robinson construed the three disputed claim terms as follows:

-The limitation “form driven operating system” means “firmware – a set of instructions programmed on a hardware device – that, together with forms, operates to control a microprocessor without the need for a conventional operating system (such as DOS or Windows).”
-The limitation “client module” means “firmware – a set of instructions programmed on a hardware device – that, together with forms, operates to control a microprocessor without the need for a conventional operating system (such as DOS or Windows).”
-The limitation “transaction assembly server” means “firmware – the set of instructions programmed on a hardware device.”

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