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Dynocom Industries, Inc. v. Mainline Automotive Equipment Pty. Ltd.

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Marshall Division

July 15, 2017

DYNOCOM INDUSTRIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MAINLINE AUTOMOTIVE EQUIPMENT PTY. LTD. T/A MAINLINE DYNOLOG DYNAMOMETERS,, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ON CLAIM CONSTRUCTION

          ROY S. PAYNE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On June 8, 2017, the Court held a hearing to determine the proper construction of the disputed claim terms in United States Patent No. 8, 505, 374 (“the '374 Patent”). The Court has considered the arguments made by the parties at the hearing and in their claim construction briefs. Dkt. Nos. 52, 54, & 57.[1] The Court has also considered the intrinsic evidence and made subsidiary factual findings about the extrinsic evidence. See Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1314 (Fed. Cir. 2005); Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 841 (2015). The Court issues this Memorandum and Order on Claim Construction in light of these considerations.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................ 3

         II. APPLICABLE LAW .......................................................................................................... 5

         III. CONSTRUCTION OF AGREED TERMS ........................................................................ 8

         IV. CONSTRUCTION OF DISPUTED TERMS ................................................................... 16

1. “co-axially rotate” ......................................................................................... 16

         V. CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................. 20

         I. BACKGROUND

         The '374 Patent was filed on December 10, 2009, issued on August 13, 2013, and is titled “Portable On Vehicle Dynamometer.” The specification states that “FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a portable on-vehicle dynamometer (‘POD') 12 for coupling directly to an axle of the vehicle to measure the power output of the axle.” '374 Patent at 2:20-22.

         (IMAGE OMITTED)

Id. at Figure 1. The specification describes POD 12 as having “a housing 14 from which extends a load shaft 16.” Id. at 2:23-24. The specification adds that “[t]he load shaft 16 is secured with a hub coupling 18, a universal joint 20, and a quick connect 22 to an eddy current brake 24.” Id. at 2:24-26. The specification further describes Figures 3 as “a perspective view of the POD 12 with two cover panels 66 and 68 removed.” Id. at 2:35-36.

         (IMAGE OMITTED)

Id. at Figure 3. The specification states that “[t]he housing 14 defines an enclosure 26 having a base 28, ” and that “[t]he base 28 is preferably provided by a rigid steel plate.” Id. at 2:36-38. The specification discloses that “[t]wo receiver tubes 32 are mounted to opposite ends of a lower side of the base 28 and extend in parallel in longitudinal alignment.” Id. at 2:38-40. The specification states that “[f]our support arms 30 extend outward from open ends of the receiver tubes 32, ” and that “[t]he four support arms 30 have longitudinal axes 48 which extend parallel to a major plane of the steel plate providing the base 28.” Id. at 2:40-44. The specification further states that “[a]rm locks 34 are provided for securing the support arms 30 in retracted and in extended positions, ” and that “[f]eet assembly 36 are mounted to the outward ends of the support arms 30 and extend downward for vertically engaging a floor or a ground surface located beneath the POD 12.” Id. at 2:44- 48. Finally, the specification discloses that “[t]wo roller assemblies 46 are mounted to the bottom of the base plate 28, spaced apart in intermediate positions between the support arms 30.” Id. at 2:61-64.

         Claim 1 of the '374 Patent is an exemplary claim and recites the following elements (disputed term in italics):

1. A portable on vehicle dynamometer for determining power output from a drive shaft, comprising:
a rigid frame;
a load shaft rotatably coupled to said rigid frame;
an eddy current brake having a stator connected to said rigid frame, and a rotor connected to said load shaft;
a hub coupling secured to a first end of said load shaft and connected directly to the drive shaft for transferring power to the load shaft, wherein said hub coupling, said drive shaft and said load shaft co-axially rotate;
said rigid frame having two outwardly extending support arms, and arm locks which secure said outwardly extending support ...

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