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Judge Andrews Construes Disputed Term of Automotive Technology Patent

Vehicle Interface Technologies has asserted a patent against several automotive manufacturers that claims a user interface for various systems of an automobile including both information about the vehicle and information for other “optional subsystems” of the vehicle. The only claim term disputed by the parties for Markman purposes was “wherein the fixed area and the selectable area each comprise a unique and static portion of the display.” Vehicle Interface Techs., LLC v. Ferrari N. Am., et al., C.A. Nos. 12-1283-RGA, Memo. Op. at 5 (D. Del. Jan. 13, 2014). Judge Andrews noted that the parties were essentially in agreement as to most of the term and that he agreed that portion was correct.

The only disputed part of the term was, therefore, “whether to include the additional limitation that a selectable area cannot display vehicle information, as the Defendants propose.” This dispute arose from an argument made in prosecution to overcome a prior art reference that disclosed vehicle information and selectable information in the same display area. Id. at 5-6. Judge Andrews found that the prosecution history “makes it clear that it is the fixed and selectable areas that must be separate, and not necessarily the content in those respective areas.” Id. at 6-7. Furthermore, the claims and the specification conflicted with the Defendants’ proposed limitation. Id. at 7-8. Accordingly, Judge Andrews found that it would be incorrect to include the Defendants’ proposed limitation and adopted the construction “Wherein the fixed area and the selectable area have non-overlapping and non-moving boundaries and the fixed area does not display any of the plurality of pages.”

Vehicle Interface Techs., LLC v. Ferrari N. Am., et al., C.A. Nos. 12-1283-RGA through 12-1286-RGA, Memo. O…

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