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Judge Andrews Addresses 112(f) Claims in Claim Construction Ruling

Judge Andrews recently issued a claim construction decision in this case, which included construction of several means-plus-function limitations which were found to be indefinite as well as limitations which were found not to be means-plus-function limitations or were not indefinite despite being claimed in means-plus-function format.

Judge Andrews found that a “JavaScript cookie” described in the specification of the patent-in-suit could not be the structure of a § 112(f) claim, as argued by the plaintiff, because it “does not have a role until after the preconditions [of the claimed function] are met. The JavaScript cookie, therefore, is not the structure performing the function . . . . Thus, this is a means-plus-function term with no corresponding structure, and the claim is therefore indefinite.” Sound View Innovations, LLC v. Facebook, Inc., C.A. No. 16-116-RGA, Memo. Op. at 16-20 (D. Del. May 19, 2017). Judge Andrews also found that a separate claim term was indefinite under § 112(b) because it was an apparatus claim that recites a method step and a person of ordinary skill would not know “if the apparatus itself would infringe or if the apparatus would have to be used in a certain way to infringe.” Id. at 20-24.

For the term “an aging controller that monitors a measurable characteristic of said memory and deletes ones of said multiple versions of said ones of said data records in response to said time stamp and said measurable characteristic thereby to increase a capacity of said memory,” Judge Andrews found that no construction was necessary because Defendant did not overcome the presumption that the term, which does not use the word “means,” is not subject to § 112(f). Specifically, Defendant did not prove that the word “controller” is a functional term or nonce term lacking in structure. Id. at 9-12. Judge Andrews also found terms that included the word “means” and were subject to § 112(f) were not indefinite. Id. at 13-16.

Sound View Innovations, LLC v. Facebook, Inc., C.A. No. 16-116-RGA (D. Del. May 19, 2017).

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