United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Tyler Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. LOVE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
claim construction opinion construes the disputed claim terms
in United States Patent No. 8, 036, 119 (“the '119
Patent”). Plaintiff Iridescent Networks, Inc.
(“Plaintiff”) alleges that Defendant AT&T
Mobility, LLC (“AT&T”) and
Defendant-Intervenor Ericsson Inc. (“Ericsson”)
infringe certain claims of the '119 Patent. Plaintiff
filed an opening claim construction brief (Doc. No. 119), to
which Defendants filed a responsive brief (Doc. No. 128), and
Plaintiff filed a reply (Doc. No. 131). The parties
additionally submitted a Joint Claim Construction Chart
pursuant to P.R. 4-5(d). (Doc. No. 134.) On July 13, 2017,
the Court held a claim construction hearing. Upon
consideration of the parties' arguments, and for the
reasons stated herein, the Court adopts the constructions set
OF THE PATENTS
contends that “[u]sing the distributed controller and
portal architecture of the '119 Patent, AT&T's
network ensures a high quality of service connection for its
customers, facilitating next-generation services like Voice
Over LTE (‘VoLTE' or ‘HD Voice') and
Video Over LTE (‘ViLTE') calling.” (Doc. No.
119, at 1.) The '119 Patent is entitled “System and
Method of Providing Bandwidth on Demand.” '119
Patent. The disclosure of the '119 Patent relates
generally to communications systems, and specifically to an
improved system and method of providing guaranteed bandwidth
on demand for an end user and/or enterprise. '119 Patent
at 1:19-22. Claim 1 is representative of the claimed
invention and recites:
1. A method for providing bandwidth on demand comprising:
receiving, by a controller positioned in a network, a request
for a high quality of service connection supporting any one
of a plurality of one-way and two-way traffic types between
an originating end-point and a terminating end-point, wherein
the request comes from the originating end-point and includes
at least one of a requested amount of bandwidth and a codec;
determining, by the controller, whether the originating
end-point is authorized to use the requested amount of
bandwidth or the codec and whether the terminating end-point
can be reached by the controller;
directing, by the controller, a portal that is positioned in
the network and physically separate from the controller to
allocate local port resources of the portal for the
negotiating, by the controller, to reserve far-end resources
for the terminating end-point; and
providing, by the controller to the portal, routing
instructions for traffic corresponding to the connection so
that the traffic is directed by the portal based only on the
routing instructions provided by the controller, wherein the
portal does not perform any independent routing on the
traffic, and wherein the connection extending from the
originating end-point to the terminating end-point is
provided by a dedicated bearer path that includes a required
route supported by the portal and dynamically provisioned by
the controller, and wherein control paths for the connection
are supported only between each of the originating and
terminating end-points and the controller and between the
portal and the controller.
'119 Patent at 7:43-8:7.
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) (quoting Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari
Water Filtration Sys., Inc., 381 F.3d 1111, 1115 (Fed.
Cir. 2004)). The Court examines a patent's intrinsic
evidence to define the patented invention's scope.
Id. at 1313-14; Bell Atl. Network Servs., Inc.
v. Covad Commc'ns Group, Inc., 262 F.3d 1258, 1267
(Fed. Cir. 2001). Intrinsic evidence includes the claims, the
rest of the specification and the prosecution history.
Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1312-13; Bell Atl. Network
Servs., 262 F.3d at 1267. The Court gives claim terms
their ordinary and customary meaning as understood by one of
ordinary skill in the art at the time of the invention.
Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1312-13; Alloc, Inc. v.
Int'l Trade Comm'n, 342 F.3d 1361, 1368 (Fed.
Cir. 2003). Claim language guides the Court's
construction of claim terms. Phillips, 415 F.3d at
1314. “[T]he context in which a term is used in the
asserted claim can be highly instructive.” Id.
Other claims, asserted and unasserted, can provide additional
instruction because “terms are normally used
consistently throughout the patent.” Id.
Differences among claims, such as additional limitations in
dependent claims, can provide further guidance. Id.
‘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)). “[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). In the specification, a patentee may define his own
terms, give a claim term a different meaning than it would
otherwise possess, or disclaim or disavow some claim scope.
Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1316. Although the Court
generally presumes terms possess their ordinary meaning, this
presumption can be overcome by statements of clear
disclaimer. See SciMed Life Sys., Inc. v. Advanced
Cardiovascular Sys., Inc., 242 F.3d 1337, 1343-44 (Fed.
Cir. 2001). This presumption does not arise when the patentee
acts as his own lexicographer. See Irdeto Access, Inc. v.
EchoStar Satellite Corp., 383 F.3d 1295, 1301 (Fed. Cir.
specification may also resolve ambiguous claim terms
“where the ordinary and accustomed meaning of the words
used in the claims lack sufficient clarity to permit the
scope of the claim to be ascertained from the words
alone.” Teleflex, Inc., 299 F.3d at 1325. For
example, “[a] claim interpretation that excludes a
preferred embodiment from the scope of the claim ‘is
rarely, if ever, correct.” Globetrotter Software,
Inc. v. Elan Computer Group Inc., 362 F.3d 1367, 1381
(Fed. Cir. 2004) (quoting Vitronics Corp., 90 F.3d
at 1583). But, “[a]lthough the specification may aid
the court in interpreting the meaning of disputed language in
the claims, particular embodiments and examples appearing in
the specification will not generally be read into the
claims.” Constant v. Advanced Micro-Devices,
Inc., 848 F.2d 1560, 1571 (Fed. Cir. 1988); see also
Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1323.
prosecution history is another tool to supply the proper
context for claim construction because a patentee may define
a term during prosecution of the patent. Home Diagnostics
Inc. v. LifeScan, Inc., 381 F.3d 1352, 1356 (Fed. Cir.
2004) (“As in the case of the specification, a patent
applicant may define a term in prosecuting a patent.”).
The well-established doctrine of prosecution disclaimer
“preclud[es] patentees from recapturing through claim
interpretation specific meanings disclaimed during
prosecution.” Omega Eng'g Inc. v. Raytek
Corp., 334 F.3d 1314, 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2003). The
prosecution history must show that the patentee clearly and
unambiguously disclaimed or disavowed the proposed
interpretation during prosecution to obtain claim allowance.
Middleton Inc. v. 3M Co., 311 F.3d 1384, 1388 (Fed.
Cir. 2002); see also Springs Window Fashions LP v. Novo
Indus., L.P., 323 F.3d 989, 994 (Fed. Cir. 2003)
(“The disclaimer . . . must be effected with
‘reasonable clarity and deliberateness.'”)
(citations omitted)). “Indeed, by distinguishing the
claimed invention over the prior art, an applicant is
indicating what the claims do not cover.” Spectrum
Int'l v. Sterilite Corp., 164 F.3d 1372, 1378-79
(Fed. Cir. 1988) (quotation omitted). “As a basic
principle of claim interpretation, prosecution disclaimer
promotes the public notice function of the intrinsic evidence
and protects the public's reliance on definitive
statements made during prosecution.” Omega
Eng'g, Inc., 334 F.3d at 1324.
“less significant than the intrinsic record in
determining the legally operative meaning of claim language,
” the Court may rely on extrinsic evidence to
“shed useful light on the relevant art.”
Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317 (quotation omitted).
Technical dictionaries and treatises may help the Court
understand the underlying technology and the manner in which
one skilled in the art might use claim terms, but such
sources may also provide overly broad definitions or may not
be indicative of how terms are used in the patent.
Id. at 1318. Similarly, expert testimony may aid the
Court in determining the particular meaning of a term in the
pertinent field, but “conclusory, unsupported
assertions by experts as to the definition of a claim term
are not useful.” Id. Generally, extrinsic
evidence is “less reliable than the patent and its
prosecution history in determining how to read claim
patent construction, “subsidiary fact finding is
sometimes necessary” and the court “may have to
make ‘credibility judgments' about
witnesses.” Teva v. Sandoz, 135 S.Ct. 831, 838
(2015). In some cases, “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.”
Id. at 841. “If a district court resolves a
dispute between experts and makes a factual finding that, in
general, a certain term of art had a particular meaning to a
person of ordinary skill in the art at the time of the
invention, the district court must then conduct a legal
analysis: whether a skilled artisan would ascribe that same
meaning to that term in the context of the specific
patent claim under review.” Id. (emphasis
in original). When the court makes subsidiary factual
findings about the extrinsic evidence in consideration of the
“evidentiary underpinnings” of claim
construction, those findings are reviewed for clear error on
parties dispute the meaning of the following claim terms,
which are set forth herein:
high quality of service connection” (Claims 1,
“a high quality of service connection”
(Claims 1, 11)
“a connection in which one or more quality of
service parameters, including bandwidth, latency,
and/or packet loss, are assured from end-to-end
based on the requirements of the application”
“a connection that assures connection speed
of at least approximately one megabit per second
and, depending on the application, packet loss
requirements that are about 10-5, and latency
requirements that are less than one second”
respect to the term “a high quality of service
connection, ” the parties dispute whether “high
quality of service” merely signifies an assured
connection that is distinctive from the “best
effort” prior art, or whether the term, coined by the
patentee, connotes specific requirements with respect to the
service connection. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that
“[t]here is no one-size-fits-all ‘high quality of
service connection' because the parameters and values
change according to the application, ” and that this is
not a term of degree because the specification discloses only
either a “best effort” connection or a
“high quality of service” connection. (Doc. No.
119, at 7; Doc. No. 131, at 1.) Defendants respond that