United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Tyler Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SCHROEDER, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Memorandum Opinion construes the disputed claim terms in
United States Patent No. 8, 209, 205 (“the '205
Patent”). Also before the Court is Defendant CiM
Maintenance, Inc.'s (“CiM”) Motion to Dismiss
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 35 U.S.C. § 101
(Docket No. 7). The Court held a Markman hearing on
February 14, 2017 (Docket No. 60), and heard argument on
CiM's motion to dismiss on March 6, 2017 (Docket No. 72).
For the reasons discussed below, the Court resolves the
claim-construction disputes as stated below and GRANTS
CiM's Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 7).
P&RO Solutions Group, Inc. (“P&RO”)
alleges that CiM infringes the '205 Patent. Docket No. 1
at 4. The '205 Patent, entitled “Planning and
Scheduling Tool Assistant Assuring High Utilization of
Resources, ” issued on June 26, 2012 from an
application filed May 24, 2004, which claims priority to
provisional applications dated May 22, 2003 and June 30,
2003. The ‘205 Patent generally relates to computerized
planning and scheduling programs. The Abstract provides:
Schedulers, Planners, and Maintenance Supervisors in an
Industrial facility can use the user interface of the present
invention to extremely quickly move work order schedules,
status planning, and manage resources. Additionally, key
performance indicators or metrics on performance on how well
the organization is doing is also cumbersome if not
impossible in the current practice in these industrial
organizations. The variables of this management include
worker, crew, Work Order, Dates, Planning Status, planner,
dates, etc. (see tech manual and summary sheets). The
invention operates by interfacing with the Computerized
Maintenance Management System (CMMS) database in a thoroughly
interactive process. The local program constructs a parallel
database and reads and feedbacks to the CMMS database
frequently to stay current and accurate.
'205 Patent Abstract.
specification describes a scheduling system in which a
computerized user interface is provided for a user to
schedule work orders, such as “repair pump.”
Id. at Figures 1-2, 5:50-56, 1:20-34. Scheduled jobs
and unscheduled jobs are provided in lists that are grouped
by work week. Id. at 2:53-55. A user may use a mouse
to drag and drop unscheduled jobs to a desired work week.
Id. The system is described as allowing quick
movement of work orders, status planning and management of
resources. Id. at 2:25-30. As work orders are moved,
real-time indication of resource loading is visible so that
the schedulers will know they have not overloaded a
particular work group. Id. at 2:53-63. Performance
indicators and metrics for the organization are also
provided. Id. at 2:31-35.
'205 Patent also explains that, in the prior art,
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems
(“CMMS”) were used to implement work orders in an
industrial environment, but those prior art CMMS systems were
inefficient. '205 Patent at 1:35-41.
is a ‘bedrock principle' of patent law that
‘the claims of a patent define the invention to which
the patentee is entitled the right to exclude.' ”
Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed.
Cir. 2005) (en banc) (quoting Innova/Pure Water Inc. v.
Safari Water Filtration Sys., Inc., 381 F.3d 1111, 1115
(Fed. Cir. 2004)). To determine the meaning of the claims,
courts first consider the intrinsic evidence. Id. at
1313; C.R. Bard, Inc. v. U.S. Surgical Corp., 388
F.3d 858, 861 (Fed. Cir. 2004); Bell Atl. Network Servs.,
Inc. v. Covad Commc'ns Group, Inc., 262 F.3d 1258,
1267 (Fed. Cir. 2001). The intrinsic evidence includes the
claims themselves, the specification, and the prosecution
history. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1314; C.R. Bard,
Inc., 388 F.3d at 861. The general rule is that each
claim term is construed according to its ordinary and
accustomed meaning as understood by one of ordinary skill in
the art at the time of the invention in the context of the
patent. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1312-13; Alloc,
Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 342 F.3d 1361, 1368
(Fed. Cir. 2003); Azure Networks, LLC v. CSR PLC,
771 F.3d 1336, 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (“There is a heavy
presumption that claim terms carry their accustomed meaning
in the relevant community at the relevant time.”)
(vacated on other grounds).
claim construction inquiry . . . begins and ends in all cases
with the actual words of the claim.” Renishaw PLC
v. Marposs Societa' per Azioni, 158 F.3d 1243, 1248
(Fed. Cir. 1998). “[I]n all aspects of claim
construction, ‘the name of the game is the claim.'
” Apple Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., 757 F.3d 1286,
1298 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (quoting In re Hiniker Co.,
150 F.3d 1362, 1369 (Fed. Cir. 1998)). A term's context
in the asserted claim can be instructive. Phillips,
415 F.3d at 1314. Other asserted or unasserted claims can
also aid in determining the claim's meaning, because
claim terms are typically used consistently throughout the
patent. Id. Differences among the claim terms can
also assist in understanding a term's meaning.
Id. For example, when a dependent claim adds a
limitation to an independent claim, it is presumed that the
independent claim does not include the limitation.
Id. at 1314-15.
‘must be read in view of the specification, of which
they are a part.' ” Id. (quoting
Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967,
979 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc)). “[T]he specification
‘is always highly relevant to the claim construction
analysis. Usually, it is dispositive; it is the single best
guide to the meaning of a disputed term.' ”
Id. (quoting Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic,
Inc., 90 F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1996));
Teleflex, Inc. v. Ficosa N. Am. Corp., 299 F.3d
1313, 1325 (Fed. Cir. 2002). But, “ [a]lthough the
specification may aid the court in interpreting the meaning
of disputed claim language, particular embodiments and
examples appearing in the specification will not generally be
read into the claims.” Comark Commc'ns, Inc. v.
Harris Corp., 156 F.3d 1182, 1187 (Fed. Cir. 1998)
(quoting Constant v. Advanced Micro-Devices, Inc.,
848 F.2d 1560, 1571 (Fed. Cir. 1988)); see also
Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1323. “[I]t is improper to
read limitations from a preferred embodiment described in the
specification-even if it is the only embodiment-into the
claims absent a clear indication in the intrinsic record that
the patentee intended the claims to be so limited.”
Liebel-Flarsheim Co. v. Medrad, Inc., 358 F.3d 898,
913 (Fed. Cir. 2004).
extrinsic evidence can also be useful, it is
“‘less significant than the intrinsic record in
determining the legally operative meaning of claim
language.' ” Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317
(quoting C.R. Bard, Inc., 388 F.3d at 862).
Technical dictionaries and treatises may help a court
understand the underlying technology and the manner in which
one skilled in the art might use claim terms, but technical
dictionaries and treatises may provide definitions that are
too broad or may not be indicative of how the term is used in
the patent. Id. at 1318. Similarly, expert testimony
may aid a court in understanding the underlying technology
and determining the particular meaning of a term in the
pertinent field, but an expert's conclusory, unsupported
assertions as to a term's definition are entirely
unhelpful to a court. Id. Generally, extrinsic
evidence is “less reliable than the patent and its
prosecution history in determining how to read claim
terms.” Id. The Supreme Court recently
explained the role of extrinsic evidence in claim
In some cases, however, the district court will need to look
beyond the patent's intrinsic evidence and to consult
extrinsic evidence in order to understand, for example, the
background science or the meaning of a term in the relevant
art during the relevant time period. See, e.g., Seymour
v. Osborne, 11 Wall. 516, 546 (1871) (a patent may be
“so interspersed with technical terms and terms of art
that the testimony of scientific witnesses is indispensable
to a correct understanding of its meaning”). In cases
where those subsidiary facts are in dispute, courts will need
to make subsidiary factual findings about that extrinsic
evidence. These are the “evidentiary
underpinnings” of claim construction that we discussed
in Markman, and this subsidiary factfinding must be
reviewed for clear error on appeal.
Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct.
831, 841 (2015).
issue are claim terms from claim 1 of the '205 Patent. On
February 14, 2017, prior to the claim-construction hearing,
the Court circulated preliminary claim constructions
indicating where it stood after considering the
claim-construction briefing. The Court instructed the parties
that it might change its constructions based upon the
parties' arguments at the hearing. Docket No. 64 at
2:24-3:10 (“Markman Hr'g Tr.”).
on the Court's preliminary claim constructions, the
parties reached an agreement with respect to the term
“work week sections.” Markman Hr'g
Tr. at 6:14-2, 12:1-13:17.
Agreed Claim Construction
“work week sections”
“a plurality of portions of a user interface,
each portion being a grouping of the days of a
given week during which work takes place”
of the parties' agreement on the proper construction of
this term, ...