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Optis Wireless Tech., LLC v. Huawei Device Co. Ltd.

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

January 18, 2018

OPTIS WIRELESS TECH., LLC, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
HUAWEI DEVICE CO. LTD., ET AL., Defendants.

          CLAIM CONSTRUCTION MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROY S. PAYNE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On December 1, 2017, the Court held an oral hearing to determine the proper construction of the disputed claim terms in the following U.S. Patents Nos. 6, 604, 216 (the “'216 Patent”), 7, 769, 238 (the “'238 Patent”), 7, 940, 851 (the “'851 Patent”), 8, 358, 284 (the “'284 Patent”), and 8, 437, 293 (the “'293 Patent”). The Court has considered the parties' claim construction briefing (Dkt. Nos. 94, 101, and 102) and arguments. Based on the intrinsic and extrinsic evidence, the Court construes the disputed terms in this Memorandum and Order. See Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005); Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831 (2015).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs Optis Wireless Technology, LLC, Optis Cellular Technology, LLC and PanOptis Patent Management, LLC (collectively “PanOptis”) has asserted seven patents against Defendants Huawei Device USA Inc. and Huawei Device Co., Ltd. (collectively “Huawei”). Five of the seven asserted patents have terms in dispute: the '216 Patent, the '238 Patent, the '851 Patent, the '284 Patent and the '293 Patent.

         The '238 Patent relates generally to encoding and decoding video. The Abstract of the '238 Patent recites:

The method includes the following units: a coefficient number detecting unit (109) for detecting the number of coefficients which has a value other than 0 for each block according to the generated coefficient, a coefficient number storing unit (110) for storing the number of coefficients detected, a coefficient number coding unit (111) for selecting a table for variable length coding based on the numbers of coefficients in the coded blocks located on the periphery of a current block to be coded with reference to the selected table for variable length coding so as to perform variable length coding for the number of coefficients.

         '238 Patent Abstract. More particularly, the '238 Patent describes prior art techniques of dividing a picture into blocks. Data compression techniques are then applied to the blocks. Id. at 1:18-27. This may result in a representation of the data as a matrix of coefficients, having zero and nonzero coefficients. Id. at 28-38. A variable length coding (VLC) table is used to encode the information by providing the number of non-zero coefficients in a block with a code number. The '238 Patent describes the use of multiple VLC tables. Id. at 10:5-11:10. Based upon a prediction of a block, a different VLC table is chosen for use for a particular block. Id.

         The '216 Patent relates generally to techniques for redundancy error correction in telecommunication transmissions. '216 Patent 1:15-21. The Abstract of the '216 Patent recites:

A wireless communications system, transmitter, receiver and method are provided that are capable of supporting incremental redundancy error handling schemes using available gross rate channels. More specifically, the transmitter includes a coding circuit for coding a digital data block and generating a mother code word, and a reordering circuit for reordering the mother code word and generating a reordered mother code word. The transmitter also includes a modulating circuit for modulating at least one subsequence each of which has a desired number of bits taken from the reordered mother code word to fill the available bandwidth of at least one available gross rate channel. The transmitter continues to forward the modulated subsequences to the receiver until the receiver successfully decodes the digital data block.

Id. at Abstract. More particularly, the '216 Patent describes that a digital data block is coded to generate a mother code word which is then reordered. Id. at 4:32-36. A subsequence of the reordered mother code word may then be transmitted. The number of bits of the subsequence is chosen so as to fit the available bandwidth of a gross rate channel over which the data is transmitted. Id. at 36-46.

         The '851 Patent relates generally to sending channel quality information (CQI) reports between a wireless receiving unit and a transmitting unit. '851 Patent 1:5-56. The Abstract of the '851 Patent recites:

A radio communication apparatus and an associated method are provided. The apparatus includes a receiving unit configured to receive first data and second data, which are transmitted from a plurality of antennas for spatial-multiplexing using a plurality of blocks, into which a plurality of consecutive subcarriers in a frequency domain are divided. The apparatus further includes a calculating unit configured to calculate a first absolute CQI value per each of the blocks for the first data and a second absolute CQI value per each of the blocks for the second data, and calculate a relative value of the second absolute CQI value with respect to the first absolute CQI value, per each of the blocks. The apparatus still further includes a transmitting unit configured to transmit the first absolute CQI value and the relative value of the second absolute CQI value in the same block.

Id. at Abstract. More particularly, the '851 Patent describes that increasing the amount of CQI provided between a receiver and transmitter can undesirably consume system resources. Id. at 1:45-56. The '851 Patent describes data being sent in blocks or “chunks.” Id. at 6:1-9, Figure 4. The CQI sent for streams of data may be reduced by sending an absolute CQI value for one stream (the “reference” stream) and only sending relative CQI values for the other streams. Id. The relative CQI may be given as a value relative to the absolute value of the reference stream. Id. at 6:1-21. Because the amount of information in the relative CQI data may be less than the absolute CQI data, the amount of CQI data sent may be less.

         The '284 Patent relates generally to control information provided on a control channel between a mobile station and a base station. The Abstract of the '284 Patent recites:

The invention relates to a method for providing control signalling associated to a protocol data unit conveying user data in a mobile communication system and to the control channel signal itself. Furthermore, the invention also provides a mobile station and a base station and their respective operation in view of the newly defined control channel signals defined herein. In order to reduce the control channel overhead, the invention suggests defining a common field for the transport format and redundancy version in the control channel information format. According to one approach, the common field is used to jointly encode transport format and redundancy version therein. According to another aspect, one shared field is provided on the control channel signal that indicates either a transport format or a redundancy version depending of whether the control channel signal relates to an initial transmission or a retransmission. In another embodiment, further enhancements to a HARQ protocol are suggested for addressing certain error cases.

         '284 Patent Abstract. More particularly, the '284 Patent describes that in the prior art it was known that control signaling information sent between a base station and mobile station included the “transport format” and the “redundancy version.” Id. at 3:21-4:21. The '284 Patent describes a method in which the control channel information is formatted in a manner such that the transport format and redundancy version information is provided in a single field in the control channel information. Id. at 6:65-7:14. Further, the control channel information field bits may provide joint encoding of the transport format and redundancy version. Id. at 7:15-22.

         The '293 Patent relates generally to scheduling the transmission of information between a mobile terminal (UE) and a base station. The Abstract of the '293 Patent recites:

Aspects of the present invention relate to the scheduling of resources in a telecommunication system that includes a mobile terminal and base station. In one embodiment, the mobile terminal sends an initial scheduling request to a base station. Subsequently, the mobile terminal does not transmit a scheduling request to the base station unless and until a scheduling request triggering event is detected.

         '293 Patent Abstract. More particularly, the '293 Patent describes that it is known in the prior art that when a transmit buffer of a mobile terminal has information to send, the mobile terminal may send a scheduling request (SR) to the base station. The base station may then assign resources to the mobile terminal over which to transmit the data by sending a scheduling grant (SG) to the mobile terminal. After the grant of resources, the mobile terminal may also send a buffer status report that contains more information on the buffer status than included in the scheduling request. Id. at 1:48-2:61, Figures 2 and 3. The '293 Patent describes an addition to the process in which a scheduling request trigger event is used. After transmitting buffer status information to a base station, the mobile terminal may determine that a scheduling request triggering event has occurred. The scheduling request triggering event may be based on determining (1) if additional data has become available to send, (2) an amount of time has elapsed since the first scheduling request, or (3) the amount of data in the transmit buffer exceeds a threshold. If a scheduling request trigger event occurs, then the mobile terminal transmits a second scheduling request to the base station. Id. at 3:5-33.

         LEGAL PRINCIPLES

         “It 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 start by considering 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-subject to certain specific exceptions discussed infra-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).

         “The 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.

         “[C]laims ‘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).

         The prosecution history is another tool to supply the proper context for claim construction because, like the specification, the prosecution history provides evidence of how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) and the inventor understood the patent. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317. However, “because the prosecution history represents an ongoing negotiation between the PTO and the applicant, rather than the final product of that negotiation, it often lacks the clarity of the specification and thus is less useful for claim construction purposes.” Id. at 1318; see also Athletic Alternatives, Inc. v. Prince Mfg., 73 F.3d 1573, 1580 (Fed. Cir. 1996) (ambiguous prosecution history may be “unhelpful as an interpretive resource”).

         Although 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 construction:

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 fact finding must be reviewed for clear error on appeal.

Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 841 (2015).

         A. Departing from the Ordinary Meaning of a Claim Term

         There are “only two exceptions to [the] general rule” that claim terms are construed according to their plain and ordinary meaning: “1) when a patentee sets out a definition and acts as his own lexicographer, or 2) when the patentee disavows the full scope of the claim term either in the specification or during prosecution.”[1] Golden Bridge Tech., Inc. v. Apple Inc., 758 F.3d 1362, 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (quoting Thorner v. Sony Computer Entm't Am. LLC, 669 F.3d 1362, 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2012)); see also GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. AgiLight, Inc., 750 F.3d 1304, 1309 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (“[T]he specification and prosecution history only compel departure from the plain meaning in two instances: lexicography and disavowal.”). The standards for finding lexicography or disavowal are “exacting.” GE Lighting Solutions, 750 F.3d at 1309.

         To act as his own lexicographer, the patentee must “clearly set forth a definition of the disputed claim term, ” and “clearly express an intent to define the term.” Id. (quoting Thorner, 669 F.3d at 1365); see also Renishaw, 158 F.3d at 1249. The patentee's lexicography must appear “with reasonable clarity, deliberateness, and precision.” Renishaw, 158 F.3d at 1249.

         To disavow or disclaim the full scope of a claim term, the patentee's statements in the specification or prosecution history must amount to a “clear and unmistakable” surrender. Cordis Corp. v. Boston Sci. Corp., 561 F.3d 1319, 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2009); see also Thorner, 669 F.3d at 1366 (“The patentee may demonstrate intent to deviate from the ordinary and accustomed meaning of a claim term by including in the specification expressions of manifest exclusion or restriction, representing a clear disavowal of claim scope.”). “Where an applicant's statements are amenable to multiple reasonable interpretations, they cannot be deemed clear and unmistakable.” 3M Innovative Props. Co. v. Tredegar Corp., 725 F.3d 1315, 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2013).

         B. Functional Claiming and 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6 (pre-AIA) / § 112(f) (AIA)

         A patent claim may be expressed using functional language. See 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6; Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, 792 F.3d 1339, 1347-49 & n.3 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (en banc in relevant portion). Section 112, Paragraph 6, provides that a structure may be claimed as a “means . . . for performing a specified function” and that an act may be claimed as a “step for performing a specified function.” Masco Corp. v. United States, 303 F.3d 1316, 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2002).

         But § 112, ¶ 6 does not apply to all functional claim language. There is a rebuttable presumption that § 112, ¶ 6 applies when the claim language includes “means” or “step for” terms, and that it does not apply in the absence of those terms. Masco Corp., 303 F.3d at 1326; Williamson, 792 F.3d at 1348. The presumption stands or falls according to whether one of ordinary skill in the art would understand the claim with the functional language, in the context of the entire specification, to denote sufficiently definite structure or acts for performing the function. See Media Rights Techs., Inc. v. Capital One Fin. Corp., 800 F.3d 1366, 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (§ 112, ¶ 6 does not apply when “the claim language, read in light of the specification, recites sufficiently definite structure” (quotation marks omitted) (citing Williamson, 792 F.3d at 1349; Robert Bosch, LLC v. Snap-On Inc., 769 F.3d 1094, 1099 (Fed. Cir. 2014))); Williamson, 792 F.3d at 1349 (§ 112, ¶ 6 does not apply when “the words of the claim are understood by persons of ordinary skill in the art to have sufficiently definite meaning as the name for structure”); Masco Corp., 303 F.3d at 1326 (§ 112, ¶ 6 does not apply when the claim includes an “act” corresponding to “how the function is performed”); Personalized Media Communications, L.L.C. v. International Trade Commission, 161 F.3d 696, 704 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (§ 112, ¶ 6 does not apply when the claim includes “sufficient structure, material, or acts within the claim itself to perform entirely the recited function . . . even if the claim uses the term ‘means.'” (quotation marks and citation omitted)).

         When it applies, § 112, ¶ 6 limits the scope of the functional term “to only the structure, materials, or acts described in the specification as corresponding to the claimed function and equivalents thereof.” Williamson, 792 F.3d at 1347. Construing a means-plus-function limitation involves multiple steps. “The first step . . . is a determination of the function of the means-plus-function limitation.” Medtronic, Inc. v. Advanced Cardiovascular Sys., Inc., 248 F.3d 1303, 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2001). “[T]he next step is to determine the corresponding structure disclosed in the specification and equivalents thereof.” Id. A “structure disclosed in the specification is ‘corresponding' structure only if the specification or prosecution history clearly links or associates that structure to the function recited in the claim.” Id. The focus of the “corresponding structure” inquiry is not merely whether a structure is capable of performing the recited function, but rather whether the corresponding structure is “clearly linked or associated with the [recited] function.” Id. The corresponding structure “must include all structure that actually performs the recited function.” Default Proof Credit Card Sys. v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., 412 F.3d 1291, 1298 (Fed. Cir. 2005). However, § 112 does not permit “incorporation of structure from the written description beyond that necessary to perform the claimed function.” Micro Chem., Inc. v. Great Plains Chem. Co., 194 F.3d 1250, 1258 (Fed. Cir. 1999).

         For § 112, ¶ 6 limitations implemented by a programmed general purpose computer or microprocessor, the corresponding structure described in the patent specification must include an algorithm for performing the function. WMS Gaming Inc. v. Int'l Game Tech., 184 F.3d 1339, 1349 (Fed. Cir. 1999). The corresponding structure is not a general purpose computer but rather the special purpose computer programmed to perform the disclosed algorithm. Aristocrat Techs. Austl. Pty Ltd. v. Int'l Game Tech., 521 F.3d 1328, 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

         C. Definiteness Under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2 (pre-AIA) / § 112(b) (AIA)

         Patent claims must particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter regarded as the invention. 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2. A claim, when viewed in light of the intrinsic evidence, must “inform those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention with reasonable certainty.” Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2120, 2129 (2014). If it does not, the claim fails § 112, ¶ 2 and is therefore invalid as indefinite. Id. at 2124. Whether a claim is indefinite is determined from the perspective of one of ordinary skill in the art as of the time the application for the patent was filed. Id. at 2130. As it is a challenge to the validity of a patent, the failure of any claim in suit to comply with § 112 must be shown by clear and convincing evidence. Id. at 2130 n.10. “[I]ndefiniteness is a question of law and in effect part of claim construction.” ePlus, Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc., 700 F.3d 509, 517 (Fed. Cir. 2012).

         When a term of degree is used in a claim, “the court must determine whether the patent provides some standard for measuring that degree.” Biosig Instruments, Inc. v. Nautilus, Inc., 783 F.3d 1374, 1378 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (quotation marks omitted). Likewise, when a subjective term is used in a claim, “the court must determine whether the patent's specification supplies some standard for measuring the scope of the [term].” Datamize, LLC v. Plumtree Software, Inc., 417 F.3d 1342, 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2005); accord Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc., 766 F.3d 1364, 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (citing Datamize, 417 F.3d at 1351).

         In the context of a claim governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6, the claim is invalid as indefinite if the claim fails to disclose adequate corresponding structure to perform the claimed functions. Williamson, 792 F.3d at 1351-52. The disclosure is inadequate when one of ordinary skill in the art “would be unable to recognize the structure in the specification and associate it with the corresponding function in the claim.” Id. at 1352.

         AGREED TERMS

Term

Agreed Construction

“incremental redundancy” ('216 Patent claims 12, 13, 19)

“transmission scheme whereby the transmissions are of sets of coded bits from the same digital data block, and where, in the case of retransmissions, previously received sets of coded bits are stored at the receiver to be combined with a subsequently received set of coded bits, which may or may not be identical to a previously transmitted set of coded bits”

“second available gross rate channel” ('216 Patent claim 20)

“second available gross bit rate channel, which may have different available bandwidth from the first available gross bit rate channel”

“transport format”

('284 Patent claims 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16, 20, 27, 28, 29)

“transport format, transport block size, payload size, or modulation and coding scheme”

“serially multiplexing first control signals and data signals . . ., wherein the first control signals are placed at a front part of the

“First control signals and data signals are mapped with a sequence in which one is directly after the other, wherein the first

multiplexed signals and the data signals are placed at a rear part of the multiplexed signals”

('833 Patent claim 1)

control signals are placed at a front part of the multiplexed signals and the data signals are placed at a rear part of the multiplexed signals”

See Optis Cellular Tech. et al. v. Kyocera et al., 2:16-cv-0059-JRG-RSP, Dkt. 108 at 30 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 9, 2017) (“Kyocera CC Order”).

“mapping” / “mapped” ('833 Patent claims 1, 8)

Plain and ordinary meaning See Kyocera CC Order at 26.

“mapping the multiplexed signals to” ('833 Patent claims 1, 8)

“after placing the first control signals and the data signals [in step (a)], mapping the multiplexed signals to”

See Kyocera CC Order at 26.

“mapping ACK/NACK control signals to” ('833 Patent claim 1)

“after mapping the multiplexed signals [in step (b)], mapping ACK/NACK control signals to”

See Kyocera CC Order at 26.

“the ACK/NACK control signals overwrite some of the multiplexed signals mapped to the 2-dimensional resource matrix at step (b) from the last row of the specific columns”

('833 Patent claims 1, 8)

“(1) Some of the multiplexed signals, from the last row of the specific columns of the 2-dimensional resource matrix, are skipped and the corresponding ACK/NACK signals are mapped, and (2) the length of the entire information is maintained equally even after the ACK/NACK control signals are inserted”

See Kyocera CC Order at 36.

“serially multiplexing first control signals and data signals, wherein the first control signals are placed at a front part of the multiplexed signals and the data signals are placed at a rear part of the multiplexed signals”

('833 Patent claim 8)

“First control signals and data signals are mapped with a sequence in which one is directly after the other, wherein the first control signals are placed at a front part of the multiplexed signals and the data signals are placed at a rear part of the multiplexed signals”

See Kyocera CC Order at 30.

“single carrier frequency divisional multiple access (SC-FDMA) and subcarriers for each SC-FDMA symbol”

('833 Patent claim 8)

“single carrier frequency divisional multiple access (SC-FDMA) symbols [2] and subcarriers for each SC-FDMA symbol”

“scheduling request triggering event” ('293 Patent claim 1, 12, 20)

“a predefined condition that triggers a scheduling request”

See Kyocera CC Order at 42.

“data processor” ('293 Patent claim 12)

Plain and ordinary meaning. See Kyocera CC Order at 49.

“means for transmitting…to [a/the] base station”

('293 Patent claim 20)

This claim term should be governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(6) and the parties identify one or more of the following structure(s), act(s), or materials correspond to this claim term:

Structure: FIG. 7 (700 incl. “Transceiver” and antenna), col. 9:53-55, and/or equivalents thereof.

Function: “transmitting to a/the base station”

See Kyocera CC Order at 10.

“means for receiving…from the base station” ('293 Patent claim 20)

This claim term should be governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(6) and the parties identify one or more of the following structure(s), act(s), or materials correspond to this claim term:

Structure: FIG. 7 (700 incl. “Transceiver” and antenna), col. 8:23-24, 9:53-55, and/or equivalents thereof.

Function: “receiving from the base station”

See Kyocera CC Order at 11.

“triggering event detection means for determining whether a scheduling request triggering event has occurred”

('293 Patent claim 20)

This claim term should be governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(6) and the parties identify one or more of the following structure(s), act(s), or materials correspond to this claim term:

Structure: a data processor executing software, as described in connection with data processor 706 and software 708 of FIG. 7 and at col. 9:48-53, implementing the algorithm

described in FIG. 6b, in FIG. 5 and step 616 of FIG. 6a, and at cols. 6:16-32, 6:36-45, 6:57-7:3, 7:5-14, 7:42-8:2, 8:29-33, 8:41-9:10

Function: “determining whether a scheduling request triggering event has occurred”

See Kyocera CC Order at 11.

“means for comparing the transmit buffer status information transmitted to the base station with new information concerning the status of the transmit buffer”

('293 Patent claim 21)

This claim term should be governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(6) and the parties identify one or more of the following structure(s), act(s), or materials correspond to this claim term:

Structure: a data processor executing software, as described in connection with data processor 706 and software 708 of FIG. 7 and at col. 9:48-53, implementing the algorithm described in FIG. 5, at cols. 6:16-26, 6:62-66, 7:64-8:2, and the comparison described at 8:57-60 (“comparing information in the buffer status report stored in step 612 to newly generated information reflecting the status of the current state of the transmit buffer”)

Function: “comparing the transmit buffer status information transmitted to the base station with new information concerning the status of the transmit buffer”

See Kyocera CC Order at 11-12

“means for determining whether second data that is available for transmission from the mobile terminal to the base station has a higher priority than the first data”

('293 Patent claim 22)

This claim term should be governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(6) and the parties identify one or more of the following structure(s), act(s), or materials correspond to this claim term:

Structure: a data processor executing software, as described in connection with data processor 706 and software 708 of FIG. 7 and at col. 9:48-53, implementing the algorithm described in FIG. 5 and step 658 of FIG. 6b, and at cols. 6:36-45, 6:62-66, 7:61-8:2, 8:55-63

Function: “determining whether second data that is available for transmission from the mobile terminal to the base station has a higher priority than the first data”

See Kyocera CC Order at 12.

“means for determining whether the amount of time that has elapsed since the first SR was transmitted exceeds a threshold”

('293 Patent claim 23)

This claim term should be governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(6) and the parties identify one or more of the following structure(s), act(s), or materials correspond to this claim term:

Structure: a data processor executing software, as described in connection with data processor 706 and software 708 of FIG. 7 and at col. 9:48-53, implementing the algorithm described in FIG. 5 and step 662 of FIG. 6b, and at cols. 6:36-45, 6:62-66, 7:2-3, 9:7-10

Function: “determining whether the amount of time that has elapsed since the first SR was transmitted exceeds a threshold”

See Kyocera CC Order at 12.

         At the oral hearing, the parties agreed to the following terms:

“gross rate channel”

('216 Patent claims 1, 11, 19, 20)

“a channel characterized by the rate at which bits may be transmitted”

“wherein the redundancy version of the protocol data unit is implicit in the transport

“wherein each individual transport format that is represented by a specific bit combination of

format indicating by a corresponding value of the first subset”

('284 Patent claims 3, 16)

the first subset is univocally linked to a respective redundancy version so that no explicit signaling of the redundancy version of the protocol data unit is necessary.”

         (Dkt. No. 111 at 69, 101.)

         DISPUTED TERMS

         1. “variable length code table” [‘238 Patent claim 1]

PanOptis:

Huawei:

“a table for transforming each variable length code into a value that denotes the number of nonzero coefficients in a block”

“a table for transforming each value that denotes the number of non-zero coefficients in a block into a unique variable length code and vice versa”

         The parties originally disputed how the uniqueness of variable length codes should be recited. At the oral hearing, PanOptis agreed to the Court's construction provided below. (Dkt. No. 111 at 13.) At the oral hearing, Huawei generally agreed to the Court's construction but stated it objected to the lack of inclusion of “and vice versa.” The issue presented relates to whether the variable length code table should be directed to usage from the perspective of a decoder or both a decoder and encoder.

         Positions of the Parties

         PanOptis contends that variable length codes (VLCs) represent values and vary in length and that the '238 patent uses multiple VLC tables to enable adaptive coding/decoding of the number of nonzero coefficients. (Dkt. No. 94 at 2.) PanOptis contends that the claim is directed to an apparatus that implements decoding. PanOptis objects to Huawei's construction as being from the perspective of an encoder (encoding from the number to the code number value to the VLC bits) and then adding “vice-versa.” PanOptis contends that this adds confusion and that its construction (from the perspective of a decoder) matches the claim and the description of VLC tables as used in a decoder as shown in the patent. (Id. (citing '238 Patent 23:19-23, 27:30-33).)

         PanOptis states that Huawei's expert admits the claim is directed expressly toward the use of a decoder. (Dkt. No. 102 at 1 (citing Dkt. No. 101-3 (Schonfeld Decl.) at ¶62).) PanOptis points to the claim language; the claimed VLC table is selected by “a coefficient number decoding unit configured to decode” and used by “a variable length decoding unit.” PanOptis notes that the claim does not mention a VLC table in an encoder. PanOptis states that while an encoder and decoder must use the same mapping to encode and decode to the same value, the common mapping is not “the same VLC table, ” as one table is part of the encoder, and the other table is part of the decoder. (Id.)

         Huawei contends that both the encoder and decoder are referenced in claim 1. (Dkt. No. 101 at 4 (citing Dkt. No. 101-3 (Schonfeld Decl.) at ¶62).) Huawei contends that the same VLC table that is selected for encoding the current block is used to decode the same block, and the use of “vice versa” is not only correct, but it is consistent with the opinions offered by PanOptis' expert: “Video decompression or decoding reverses the processing steps of video encoding to recreate a displayable video picture.” (Id. (quoting Dkt. 94-1 (Richardson Decl.) at ¶20).) Huawei contends that viewed from the decoder, it is understood that Huawei's construction reads: “a table for transforming a unique variable length code into each value that denotes the number of nonzero coefficients in a block.” (Id.)

         Analysis

         The claim within which the term is found is clearly directed to decoding. The claims recite a “picture decoding unit” which includes “a block decoding unit.” Further, the claims recite “said block decoding unit includes” “a coefficient number decoding unit.” The “coefficient number decoding unit includes” the term in question, “a selecting unit configured to select a variable length code table, ” and also the “variable length decoding unit” that performs the decoding “by using the selected variable length code table.” In context of the claim language itself, it is clear that the variable length code table in question is a table of a decoder. The claim does not recite the table as used by the encoder. The parties agree that the encoding and decoding schemes must use a common mapping scheme, however, as recited in the claim only the decoder structure is claimed. The presence of a variable length code table in the decoder is further supported by the specification, which teaches a variable length code table in the decoder. '238 Patent Figures 17, 18A, and 19, 21:49-60, 23:15-29, 23:29-24:32, 27:14-30. Here, the table claimed is the table in the decoding unit.

         The Court construes “variable length code table” to mean “a table for transforming each variable length code into a value that denotes the number of non-zero coefficients in a block, within a given table each variable length code is unique and maps to one unique value.”

         2. “generated by coding the number of the non-zero coefficients included in the current block” [‘238 Patent claim 1]

PanOptis:

Huawei:

“generated by transforming the number of non-zero coefficients included in the current block into a variable length code”

“generated by transforming only the number of non-zero coefficients included in the current block into a variable length code”

         Positions of the Parties

         PanOptis contends that in video coding, a number of parameters may be part of a coded stream representing the picture component of video, such as the numbers of the coefficients, the coefficient values themselves, run lengths, motion vectors or the like, as well as the number of coefficients. (Dkt. No. 94 at 3 (citing Dkt. No. 94-1 (Richardson Decl.) at ¶¶ 50-52).) PanOptis contends the claim has no requirement of “only” and is drafted as a “comprising, ” and thus, does not exclude additional parameters. (Id.)

         Huawei points to the surrounding claim language as reciting a “variable length decoding unit” that is configured to perform variable length decoding on a “coded stream” that has been “generated by coding the number of the non-zero coefficients included in the current block.” Huawei contends that the '238 Patent confirms that the “variable length decoding unit” (e.g., element 1506 in Figure 20C) is configured to decode a specific piece of data output by the encoder, i.e., the coded stream of 1s and 0s that contains the number of non-zero coefficients in the current block. (Dkt. No. 101 at 5 (citing '238 Patent 24:13-32).) Huawei contends that the patent refers to this piece of coded data as the “coefficient number bit stream.” (Id. (citing '238 Patent Figs. 18A-B, 20A-C, 22A-B, 23A-B, 24A-B, 25).)

         Huawei contends that the '238 Patent shows that, in every embodiment, the coefficient number bit stream, which is a VLC received by the “variable length decoding unit, ” is generated by the encoder using only the total number of non-zero coefficients in the current block. (Id.) Huawei contends that the patentee expressly identified encoding the total number of non-zero coefficients in a block into a VLC as a key feature of the invention that improves upon the prior art. (Id. (citing '238 Patent 1:18-2:14).)

         As to the use of “comprising, ” Huawei contends the “comprising” language cannot abrogate claim limitations. (Dkt. No. 101 at 6, n. 2.) As to PanOptis' argument that other items may be coded in the bit stream, Huawei contends that PanOptis relies on portions of the '238 Patent that refer to the generic bit stream that is ultimately output from the encoder to the decoder. (Id. at 6.) Huawei contends that the phrase in dispute, however, concerns a “variable length decoding unit” (itself part of the “coefficient number decoding unit”) that is configured to perform only one task: transform the VLC into the number of non-zero coefficients in the current block. (Id. (citing Dkt. No. 101-3 (Schonfeld Decl.) at ¶70).) Huawei contends that the variable length decoding unit does not also decode other information that may be contained elsewhere in a generic bit stream (e.g., values of coefficients). (Id. (citing Dkt. No. 101-3 (Schonfeld Decl.) at ¶71).) Huawei contends that the patent teaches that other units are responsible for such decoding (e.g., Fig. 17, Coefficient value decoder 1404).

         Huawei contends that PanOptis' construction would allow for the use of the number of non-zero coefficients in the current block-and additional, unrelated information-to generate the VLC. At the oral hearing, Huawei emphasized that in the figures of the '238 Patent the coding of the number of non-zero coefficients is only shown to occur in a coder that has only one input, the coefficient number. (Dkt. 111 at 18-27.)

         In reply, PanOptis contends that Huawei's expert admits the coding of the total number of non-zero coefficients in a block “uses” not only that value, but also uses the number of non-zero coefficients in blocks on the periphery to select a VLC table for coding. (Dkt. No. 102 at 2 (citing Dkt. No. 101-3 (Schonfeld Decl.) at ¶¶38-41).)

         PanOptis contends that the disputed term is nested within the “receiving apparatus” comprising “a picture decoding unit” that “includes a block decoding unit, ” which further includes “a coefficient number decoding unit configured to decode the coded block data to obtain the number of nonzero coefficients.” PanOptis contends that “to obtain the number of non-zero coefficients, ” claim 1 requires that the “coded stream” was “generated by coding the number of the non-zero coefficients included in the current block.” PanOptis contends that this does not require the exclusion of other coded information from the bit stream provided to the decoder or any of its components. (Id.)

         Analysis

         The parties do not seem to dispute that other data can be coded in the main data stream between the encoder and decoder. Huawei's argument relates to an assertion that the part of the process that codes the number of non-zero coefficients does so by only using the non-zeros in the current block. In effect, Huawei contends that other information cannot be included for the particular portion of the coding recited: “coding the number of the non-zero coefficients included in the current block.” Huawei argues that in this context, Huawei's construction can be read to not limit the coding of other data in the stream provided between the encoder and decoder.

         However, Huawei's arguments fail for two reasons. First, even if Huawei's embodiment did not exclude the disclosed coding process, Huawei has not pointed to clear language in the intrinsic record of lexicography, disavowal, or disclaimer mandating the “only” limitation of Huawei's proposed construction. See GE Lighting Solutions, 750 F.3d at 1309; Cordis Corp., 561 F.3d at 1329. Rather, Huawei merely points to an embodiment of the specification. However, even a single embodiment is not necessarily enough to read a limitation into the claim from the specification. Arlington Indus., Inc. v. Bridgeport Fittings, Inc., 632 F.3d 1246, 1254 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (“[E]ven where a patent describes only a single embodiment, claims will not be read restrictively unless the patentee has demonstrated a clear intention to limit the claim scope using words of expressions of manifest exclusion or restriction.”). For this reason alone, Huawei's arguments fail and the Court explicitly rejects inclusion of “only” in the construction.

         Second, as noted by PanOptis, in the '238 Patent the particular coding recited in the claim includes more than merely transforming “only” the number of non-zero coefficients in the current block. Huawei's own expert, and the specification, makes clear that the process includes using the number of non-zero coefficients in the surrounding blocks to make a prediction and then using the prediction to select the particular VLC table that is used for the current block. Further, a coefficient value is encoded in the coded bit stream. (Dkt. No. 101-3 (Schonfeld Decl.) at ¶¶38-41); '238 Patent Figure 1, 9:42-50, 10:4-7, 11:48-50, 15:11-28, Figure 4A, Figure 5. Huawei's construction, which requires “only, ” can be read to exclude the disclosed coding embodiment. A construction that excludes embodiments is rarely correct. See Accent Packaging, Inc. v. Leggett & Platt, Inc., 707 F.3d 1318, 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (holding that a construction that excludes the preferred embodiment “is rarely, if ever, correct.”). Huawei contends that the “coded stream” in question must be a data stream at the location that includes only the encoded coefficient number (the output of block 111 of Figure 1). However the “coded stream” is not claimed to require such a limitation. But rather, as claimed, the coded stream merely must be generated by coding the number of nonzero coefficients included in the current block. This could include the coded stream at the point at which the coded stream includes the other information, including prediction and value information, because the claimed stream is not limited to only containing the number of non-zero coefficients.

         The Court construes “generated by coding the number of the non-zero coefficients included in the current block” to mean “generated by transforming the number of non-zero coefficients included in the current block into a variable length code.”

         3. “ordering vector” [‘216 Patent claims 1, 2, 3, 11, 14, 19, 21, 34]

PanOptis:

Huawei:

“one or more ordering patterns that together define the reordering of the bits of the mother code word”

“a one-dimensional array of numbers, not implemented in an interleaver”

         The parties' arguments raise two issues. First, does the specification mandate a “one-dimensional array” limitation? Second, does the file history mandate the “not implemented in an interleaver” limitation?

         Positions of the Parties

         PanOptis states that in the prior art, multiple puncturing patterns (all different) would be used separately to puncture separate copies of the mother code word (all the same) to form separate subblocks, each comprising a subset of the mother code word. (Dkt. No. 94 at 7 (citing '216 Patent 6:47-53).) PanOptis characterizes the '216 Patent as describing applying an ordering vector to the (single) mother code word to form a unitary reordered mother code word. PanOptis points to exemplary puncturing “patterns” P1=[100100100100100100 . . . 100], P2=[010010010010010010 . . . 010], and P3=[001001001001001001 . . . 001] “together form” the exemplary ordering vector, 0=[1, 4, 7, 10, . . ., 2, 5, 8, 11, . . ., 3, 6, 9, 12, . . . ], and this ordering vector defines the order in which the bits forming the reordered mother code word are to be modulated and forwarded to the receiver. (Id. (citing '216 Patent 7:1-10).) PanOptis contends its construction conforms to such usage. PanOptis further contends that one skilled in the art would not limit the term to “one-dimensional” in light of the specification. (Id. at 9-10 (citing Dkt. No. 94-2 (Haimovich Decl.) at ¶¶ 111-20).)

         PanOptis contends that the word “interleaver” is not mentioned in the specification or the claims. PanOptis contends that the patentee's Nov. 5, 2002, Office Action Response, relied on by Huawei does not contain a clear disclaimer. PanOptis contends that the patentee's remarks refer to an “interleaver” with respect to the Li reference. (Dkt. No. 94 at 7-8 (citing Dkt. No. 94-2 p. 158 of 193 (File History Excerpts) at pp. 8-12).) PanOptis states that the patentee amended the pending claims by adding the “wherein the reordered mother code word is generated based on an ordering vector, the ordering vector defining an order in which bits forming the reordered mother code word are to be modulated and forwarded to a receiver” limitation. Id. PanOptis states that the patentee argued that Li fails to teach “a reordered mother code word that is generated based on an ordering vector . . ., ” stating, “[i]n contrast, Li's interleaver breaks a correlation of sequential fading coefficients, maximizes the diversity order of the system, and breaks the correlation among sequentially-coded bits and the correlation among the bits associated with the same seven symbols.” (Id. (citing Dkt. No. 94-2 p. 165-166 of 193 (File History Excerpts) at pp. 8-9).)

         PanOptis contends that the patentee did not argue that Li is distinct from the claims, because Li uses an interleaver. PanOptis contends that the patentee explained how Li's particular interleaver and the functions it performs are unrelated to the amended claims' requirement to generate a reordered mother code word. (Dkt. No. 94 at 8.) PanOptis contends that the Li reference can be described as: (i) create a mother code word, (ii) puncture the mother code word with a puncturing pattern to create a subblock, (iii) and then interleave the subblock. PanOptis contends that Li's interleaver, at best, creates reordered subblocks, not a reordered mother code word as required by the amended claims. (Id.) PanOptis states that Li is akin to the prior art described in the passage at 6:47-53 of the patent. PanOptis contends that prosecution argument echoes the '216 specification, which contrasts the prior art method of puncturing to create subblocks with the inventive scheme of reordering the whole mother code word. (Dkt. No. 94 at 8-9.)

         With respect to the “one-dimensional array” limitation, PanOptis contends that Huawei relies on the “exemplary ordering vector” from the preferred embodiment, which is depicted as a comma-separated list of numbers between square brackets. PanOptis contends that the '216 Patent does not describe the ordering vector as “one-dimensional, ” nor does it mention dimensionality or “arrays” at all. (Dkt. No. 94 at 9.) PanOptis contends that the word “vector” does not suggest single dimensionality, as a “vector” can have an arbitrary number of dimensions. (Id.).

         PanOptis further contends Huawei's proposal is inconsistent with the preferred embodiment, where “the mother code word 506 is sequentially punctured using one or more puncturing patterns P1, P2, P3, . . . Pn that together form the ordering vector.” PanOptis contends that even assuming that each pattern is one-dimensional, because there are n distinct patterns in the preferred embodiment, the resultant ordering vector need not be represented one-dimensionally, for example, in a matrix. (Id. at 9-10.)

         As to “vector, ” Huawei contends that its construction tracks how a skilled artisan understands “vector.” Huawei notes that as claimed, the ordering vector both reorders the mother code word and “defines the order in which the bits of the mother code word are to be modulated and forwarded to a receiver.” Huawei contends that the patent only discloses a one-dimensional array of numbers for the ordering vector. Huawei also contends that only a one-dimensional array of numbers can achieve this dual purpose. (Dkt. No. 101 at 8 (citing Dkt. No. 101-1 (Bims Decl.) at ¶¶96-97).). Huawei also contends that technical dictionaries point to a vector being a one-dimensional array of numbers. (Id. at 8, n.3.)

         As to PanOptis' contention that the “ordering vector” could be, for example, a matrix, Huawei contends that a matrix is a not vector. Huawei also contends that the patent never teaches or suggests a matrix, but even if it did, the claim term is ordering vector. Huawei contends that a multi-dimensional array (i.e., a matrix) cannot rearrange a code word and also define the order in which those bits are to be modulated and forwarded; it requires more information (e.g., to inform whether bits are sent row-by-row or column-by-column). (Dkt. No. 101 at 11.) Huawei contends that PanOptis is correct that a vector could be multi-dimensional in that a vector's entries can represent multiple dimensions, but the vector itself is still a one-dimensional array (like a line on a 2D map). Regardless, Huawei contends that the patent does not contemplate or suggest a multidimensional vector. (Id. (citing Dkt. No. 101-1 (Bims Decl.) at ¶¶110-11).)

         With regard to the prosecution history, Huawei contends that the PTO rejected all original independent claims over three references and each reference taught an interleaver, which the PTO found to be a reordering circuit. (Id.at 8.) Huawei contends that to overcome this art, the patentees added the “ordering vector” limitation to the reordering circuit and argued that it now distinguished their reordering circuit from interleavers. Huawei contends that to overcome Li, the patentees just quoted Li and argued, without explanation, that what they quoted made Li different. Huawei contends, however, that what the patentee quoted in ...


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