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Blitzsafe Texas LLC v. Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

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

May 22, 2019

BLITZSAFE TEXAS LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION, MITSUBISHI MOTORS NORTH AMERICA, INC., BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE AG, BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC, Defendants. Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction

          CLAIM CONSTRUCTION MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RODNEY GILSCRAP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Opening Claim Construction Brief (Dkt. No. 203) filed by Plaintiff Blitzsafe Texas, LLC (“Plaintiff” or “Blitzsafe”). Also before the Court is the Responsive Claim Construction Brief (Dkt. No. 206) filed by Defendants BMW of North America, LLC, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (collectively, “BMW”), Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (collectively, “Daimler/MB”), Jaguar Land Rover Limited, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda Motor of America, Inc. d/b/a Mazda North American Operations, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, and Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (all, collectively, “Defendants”).[1] Further before the Court is Plaintiff's reply (Dkt. No. 208).

         The Court held a claim construction hearing on April 24, 2019.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. Background ......................................................................................................................... 3

          II. Legal Principles ................................................................................................................... 4

         III. Agreed Terms ...................................................................................................................... 9

         IV. Disputed Terms ................................................................................................................. 12

A. “interface” ............................................................................................................................ 12
B. “integration subsystem” ....................................................................................................... 18
C. “. . . audio generated by . . .” ................................................................................................ 23
D. “formatted command, ” “formatted control command, ” and “formatted control signal” ..... 28
E. “after-market [audio/video] device” ..................................................................................... 33
F. “video information” .............................................................................................................. 34
G. “connector electrically connectable to, ” “electrical connector, ” and “connectable” ........... 34

         V. Additional Terms .............................................................................................................. 38

         VI. Conclusion ......................................................................................................................... 40

         I. Background

         Plaintiff has alleged infringement of United States Patent Nos. 7, 489, 786 (“the '786 Patent”) and 8, 155, 342 (“the '342 Patent”) (collectively, “the patents-in-suit”). Plaintiff submits that the patents-in-suit relate to integrating audio and multimedia devices with existing car stereo/video systems. (See Dkt. No. 203 at 3-4.)

         The '786 Patent, titled “Audio Device Integration System, ” issued on February 10, 2009, and bears a filing date of December 11, 2002. Plaintiff submits that “[t]he '786 Patent provides the convenience of integrating an array of audio devices into one centrally-controlled system, saving users the distraction and annoyance of toggling between the controls of incompatible components.” (Id. at 3.) The Abstract of the '786 Patent states:

An audio device integration system is provided. One or more after-market audio devices, such as a CD player, CD changer, MP3 player, satellite receiver, DAB receiver, or the like, is integrated for use with an existing OEM or after-market car stereo system, wherein control commands can be issued at the car stereo and responsive data from the audio device can be displayed on the stereo. Control commands generated at the car stereo are received, processed, converted into a format recognizable by the audio device, and dispatched to the audio device for execution. Information from the audio device, including track, disc, song, station, time, and other information, is received, processed, converted into a format recognizable by the car stereo, and dispatched to the car stereo for display thereon. One or more auxiliary input sources can be integrated with the car stereo, and selected between using the controls of the car stereo. Both an audio device and one or more auxiliary input sources can be integrated together, and a user can select between the device or the one or more auxiliary input sources by issuing selection commands through the car stereo. A docking station is provided for docking a portable audio or video device for integration with the car stereo.

         The '342 Patent, titled “Multimedia Device Integration System, ” issued on April 10, 2012, and is a continuation-in-part of a continuation-in-part of a continuation-in-part of the '786 Patent. Plaintiff submits that “[t]he invention of the '342 Patent provides the same convenience of the '786 Patent with the added benefit of wireless integration.” (Id. at 4.)

         The Abstract of the '342 Patent states:

An [sic] multimedia device integration system is provided. One or more after-market audio or video devices, such as a CD player, CD changer, digital media device (e.g., MP3 player, MP4 player, WMV player, Apple iPod, portable media center, or other device) satellite receiver (e.g., XM or Sirius receiver), DAB receiver, video device (e.g., DVD player), cellular telephone, or any other device or combinations thereof, is integrated for use with an existing OEM or after-market car stereo or video system, wherein control commands can be issued at the car stereo or video system and data from the after-market device can be displayed on the car stereo or video system. Control commands generated at the car stereo or video system are received, processed, converted into a format recognizable by the after-market device, and dispatched to the after-market device for execution. Information from the after-market device is converted into a format recognizable by the car stereo or video system, and dispatched to the car stereo or video system for display thereon. One or more auxiliary input sources can be integrated with the car stereo or video system, and selected using the controls of the car stereo or video system. A docking station is provided for docking a portable audio or video device for integration with the car stereo or video system. Wireless integration between the portable audio or video device and a car stereo or video system is provided, and voice recognition and speech synthesis capabilities are provided in the portable audio or video device or the car stereo or video system.

         The Court previously construed terms of the patents-in-suit in Blitzsafe Texas, LLC v. Honda Motor Co., Case No. 2:15-CV-1274-JRG-RSP, Dkt. No. 146, 2016 WL 4762083 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 13, 2016) (“Honda”) (attached to Plaintiff's opening brief, Dkt. No. 203, as Ex. A), and Blitzsafe Texas, LLC v. Subaru Corp., No. 2:17-CV-421-JRG-RSP, Dkt. No. 109, 2018 WL 6504174 (E.D. Tex. Dec. 11, 2018) (“Subaru”) (attached to Plaintiff's opening brief, Dkt. No. 203, as Ex. B). Plaintiff also submits that the patents-in-suit have been the subject of twenty-four petitions for inter partes review (“IPR”). (Dkt. No. 203 at 1.) Plaintiff submits that only one of those petitions resulted in institution of an IPR (IPR2016-00418), which settled prior to any final decision. (Id.)

         II. Legal Principles

         A “claim in a patent provides the metes and bounds of the right which the patent confers on the patentee to exclude others from making, using or selling the protected invention.” Burke, Inc. v. Bruno Indep. Living Aids, Inc., 183 F.3d 1334, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 1999). Claim construction is an issue of law for the court to decide. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 970-71 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370 (1996).

         “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.” Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 841 (2015) (citation omitted). “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.” Id. (citing 517 U.S. 370).

         To ascertain the meaning of claims, courts look to three primary sources: the claims, the specification, and the prosecution history. Markman, 52 F.3d at 979. The specification must contain a written description of the invention that enables one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention. Id. A patent's claims must be read in view of the specification, of which they are a part. Id. For claim construction purposes, the description may act as a sort of dictionary, which explains the invention and may define terms used in the claims. Id. “One purpose for examining the specification is to determine if the patentee has limited the scope of the claims.” Watts v. XL Sys., Inc., 232 F.3d 877, 882 (Fed. Cir. 2000).

         Nonetheless, it is the function of the claims, not the specification, to set forth the limits of the patentee's invention. SRI Int'l v. Matsushita Elec. Corp., 775 F.2d 1107, 1121 (Fed. Cir. 1985) (en banc). The patentee is free to be their own lexicographer, but any special definition given to a word must be clearly set forth in the specification. Intellicall, Inc. v. Phonometrics, Inc., 952 F.2d 1384, 1388 (Fed. Cir. 1992). Although the specification may indicate that certain embodiments are preferred, particular embodiments appearing in the specification will not be read to limit the claims when the claim language is broader than the embodiments. Electro Med. Sys., S.A. v. Cooper Life Scis., Inc., 34 F.3d 1048, 1054 (Fed. Cir. 1994).

         This Court's claim construction analysis is substantially guided by the Federal Circuit's decision in Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc). In Phillips, the court set forth several guideposts that courts should follow when construing claims. In particular, the court reiterated that “the claims of a patent define the invention to which the patentee is entitled the right to exclude.” Id. at 1312 (quoting Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration Sys., Inc., 381 F.3d 1111, 1115 (Fed. Cir. 2004)). To that end, the words used in a claim are generally given their plain and ordinary meaning. Id. The plain and ordinary meaning of a claim term “is the meaning that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art in question at the time of the invention, i.e., as of the effective filing date of the patent application.” Id. at 1313. This principle of patent law flows naturally from the recognition that inventors are usually persons who are skilled in the field of the invention and that patents are addressed to, and intended to be read by, others skilled in the particular art. Id.

         Despite the importance of claim terms, Phillips made clear that “the person of ordinary skill in the art is deemed to read the claim term not only in the context of the particular claim in which the disputed term appears, but in the context of the entire patent, including the specification.” Id. Although the claims themselves may provide guidance as to the meaning of particular terms, those terms are part of “a fully integrated written instrument.” Id. at 1315 (quoting Markman, 52 F.3d at 978). Thus, the Phillips court emphasized the specification as being the primary basis for construing the claims. Id. at 1314-17. As the Supreme Court stated long ago, “in case of doubt or ambiguity it is proper in all cases to refer back to the descriptive portions of the specification to aid in solving the doubt or in ascertaining the true intent and meaning of the language employed in the claims.” Bates v. Coe, 98 U.S. 31, 38 (1878). In addressing the role of the specification, the Phillips court quoted with approval its earlier observations from Renishaw PLC v. Marposs Societa' per Azioni, 158 F.3d 1243, 1250 (Fed. Cir. 1998):

Ultimately, the interpretation to be given a term can only be determined and confirmed with a full understanding of what the inventors actually invented and intended to envelop with the claim. The construction that stays true to the claim language and most naturally aligns with the patent's description of the invention will be, in the end, the correct construction.

Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1316. Consequently, Phillips emphasized the important role the specification plays in the claim construction process.

         The prosecution history also continues to play an important role in claim interpretation. Like the specification, the prosecution history helps to demonstrate how the inventor and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) understood the patent. Id. at 1317. Since the prosecution history, however, “represents an ongoing negotiation between the PTO and the applicant, ” it may lack the clarity of the specification and thus be less useful in claim construction proceedings. Id. Nevertheless, the prosecution history is intrinsic evidence that is relevant to the determination of how the inventor understood the invention and whether the inventor limited the invention during prosecution by narrowing the scope of the claims. Id.; see also Microsoft Corp. v. Multi-Tech Sys., Inc., 357 F.3d 1340, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (“[A] patentee's statements during prosecution, whether relied on by the examiner or not, are relevant to claim interpretation.”).

         Phillips rejected any claim construction approach that sacrificed the intrinsic record in favor of extrinsic evidence, such as dictionary definitions or expert testimony. The en banc court condemned the suggestion made by Texas Digital Systems, Inc. v. Telegenix, Inc., 308 F.3d 1193 (Fed. Cir. 2002), that a court should discern the ordinary meaning of the claim terms (through dictionaries or otherwise) before resorting to the specification for certain limited purposes. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1319-24. According to Phillips, reliance on dictionary definitions at the expense of the specification had the effect of “focus[ing] the inquiry on the abstract meaning of words rather than on the meaning of claim terms within the context of the patent.” Id. at 1321. Phillips emphasized that the patent system is based on the proposition that the claims cover only the invented subject matter. Id.

         Phillips does not preclude all uses of dictionaries in claim construction proceedings. Instead, the court assigned dictionaries a role subordinate to the intrinsic record. In doing so, the court emphasized that claim construction issues are not resolved by any magic formula. Id. at 1323-25. The court did not impose any particular sequence of steps for a court to follow when it considers disputed claim language. Id. Rather, Phillips held that a court must attach the appropriate weight to the intrinsic sources offered in support of a proposed claim construction, bearing in mind the general rule that the claims measure the scope of the patent grant.

         The Supreme Court of the United States has “read [35 U.S.C.] § 112, ¶ 2 to require that a patent's claims, viewed in light of the specification and prosecution history, inform those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention with reasonable certainty.” Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 572 U.S. 898, 910 (2014). “A determination of claim indefiniteness is a legal conclusion that is drawn from the court's performance of its duty as the construer of patent claims.” Datamize, LLC v. Plumtree Software, Inc., 417 F.3d 1342, 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted), abrogated on other grounds by Nautilus, 134 S.Ct. 2120. “Indefiniteness must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.” Sonix Tech. Co. v. Publ'ns Int'l, Ltd., 844 F.3d 1370, 1377 (Fed. Cir. 2017).

         In general, prior claim construction proceedings involving the same patents-in-suit are “entitled to reasoned deference under the broad principals of stare decisis and the goals articulated by the Supreme Court in Markman, even though stare decisis may not be applicable per se.” Maurice Mitchell Innovations, LP v. Intel Corp., No. 2:04-CV-450, 2006 WL 1751779, at *4 (E.D. Tex. June 21, 2006) (Davis, J.); see TQP Dev., LLC v. Intuit Inc., No. 2:12-CV-180, 2014 WL 2810016, at *6 (E.D. Tex. June 20, 2014) (Bryson, J.) (“[P]revious claim constructions in cases involving the same patent are entitled to substantial weight, and the Court has determined that it will not depart from those constructions absent a strong reason for doing so.”); see also Teva Pharm., 135 S.Ct. at 839-40 (“[P]rior cases will sometimes be binding because of issue preclusion and sometimes will serve as persuasive authority.”) (citation omitted); Finisar Corp. v. DirecTV Grp., Inc., 523 F.3d 1323, 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (noting “the importance of uniformity in the treatment of a given patent”) (quoting Markman, 517 U.S. at 390).

         III. Agreed Terms

         The parties have submitted the following agreed-upon constructions (Dkt. No. 197, Ex. A; Dkt. No. 203 at 4-7; Dkt. No. 215, App'x A, at 14-19), [2] which the Court adopts:

Term

Construction

“integration” / “integrating” ('786 Patent, Claims 1, 5, 57, 86)

“connecting one or more external devices or inputs to an existing car radio or stereo via an interface, processing and handling signals and audio channels, allowing a user to control the devices via the car stereo, and displaying data from the devices on the radio”

“integration” / “integrating”

('342 Patent, Claims 49, 50, 53, 54, 56, 66, 70, 73, 74, 77, 78, 79, 80, 94, 97, 99, 102, 103, 106, 113, 120)

“connecting one or more external devices or inputs to an existing car stereo or video system via an interface, processing and handling signals, audio, and/or video information, allowing a user to control the devices via the car stereo or video system, and displaying data from the devices on the car stereo or video system”

“auxiliary input source” ('786 Patent, Claims 1, 14)

“a device that outputs audio by headphone jack or other connector”

“car stereo”

('786 Patent, Claims 1, 2, 6, 13, 14, 57, 58, 60, 63, 86, 90, 91)

“all presently existing car stereos and radios, such as physical devices that are present at any location within a vehicle, in addition to software and/or graphically-or display-driven receivers. An example of such a receiver is a software-driven receiver that operates on a universal LCD panel within a vehicle and is operable by a user via a graphical user interface displayed on the universal LCD panel. Further, any future receiver, whether a hardwired or a software/graphical receiver operable on one or more displays, is considered within the definition of the terms ‘car stereo' and ‘car radio.'”

“device presence signal”

('786 Patent, Claims 6, 57, 86; '342 Patent, Claims 56, 106)

“a continuously transmitted signal indicating an audio device is present”

“portable”

('786 Patent, Claim 57; '342 Patent, Claims 49, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 62, 63, 64, 66, 70, 71, 73, 76, 77, 78, 80, 94, 95, 97, 100, 101, 103, 106, 109, 110, 111, 113, 115, 120)

“capable of being moved about”

“pre-programmed”

('786 Patent, Claims 1, 7, 8, 57, 60, 86, 90, 91)

Plain and ordinary meaning

“channeling audio signals” / “audio signals . . . are selectively channeled” / “channeling audio” / “channels audio” / “channels video”

('786 Patent, Claims 1, 14; '342 Patent, Claims 97, 99, 113, 120)

“receiving and transmitting audio” or “receives and transmits [audio/video]”

“maintain . . . in an operational state”

('786 Patent, Claims 57, 86)

“preventing the car stereo from shutting off, entering a sleep mode, or otherwise being unresponsive to signals and/or data from an external source”

“maintaining . . . in a state responsive” / “maintain . . . in a state responsive”

('786 Patent, Claim 6; '342 Patent, Claims 56, 106)

'786 Patent:

“preventing the car stereo from shutting off, entering a sleep mode, or otherwise being unresponsive to signals and/or data from an external source”

'342 Patent:[3]

“preventing the car audio/video system from shutting off, entering a sleep mode, or otherwise being unresponsive to signals and/or data from an external source”

“external”

('786 Patent, Claims 1, 57, 86; '342 Patent, Claims 49, 73, 97, 120)

“outside and alien to the environment of an OEM or after-market stereo system (and not limited to devices that were not made to work in automobiles)”

“car audio/video system”

('342 Patent, Claims 49-51, 53, 54, 56, 66, 70, 73-75, 77, 78, 94, 97, 99, 106, 113, 120)

Plain and ordinary meaning.

“format incompatible with the [after-market audio device, MP3 player, portable device, video device, portable audio device, car stereo, car audio/video system]”

('786 Patent, Claims 1, 57, 90; '342 Patent, Claims 53, 57, 77, 97)

“format incompatible with” means “a format not designed to work with”

“format incompatible with the [car stereo / car audio/video system]:

('786 Patent, Claims 1, 60; '342 Patent, Claims 54, 70, 78, 120)

“format incompatible with” means “a format not designed to work with”

         IV. Disputed Terms

         A. “interface” Plaintiffs

Plaintiff's Proposed Construction

Defendants' Proposed Construction

“a device that includes a microcontroller and that is a functionally and structurally separate component from the car stereo, which integrates an external aftermarket device with a car stereo”

“a device that includes a microcontroller and that is a functionally and structurally separate component from the car stereo and housed separately from the car stereo, which integrates an external aftermarket device with a car stereo”

(Dkt. No. 197, Ex. B, at p. 3 of 17; id. Ex. C, at 1; Dkt. No. 203 at 7; Dkt. No. 206, at 4; Dkt. No. 215, App'x A, at 1.) The parties submit that this term appears in Claims 1, 5, 6, 10, 14, 23, 57, 64, 86, and 88 of the '786 Patent. (Id.)

         (1) The Parties' Positions

         Plaintiff submits that it proposes the construction reached by the Court in Honda and agreed-upon in Subaru. (Dkt. No. 203 at 7.)[4] Plaintiff also submits that “[i]n the Honda case, this Court decided, after an extensive review of the intrinsic record, that the interface is not required to be ‘external to the “car stereo, ” or physically separate from the “physical devices” that make-up the “car stereo.”'” (Id. at 8.) Plaintiff argues that the statements by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) cited by Defendants are not binding on the patentee and are not persuasive. (See Id. at 9-11.)

         Defendants respond that “Blitzsafe's allegations that an integrated head unit device meets the ‘interface' limitations, even though a head unit is part of the ‘car stereo,' reflects a misunderstanding of the plain meaning of ‘functionally and structurally separate' as recited in this Court's prior construction of ‘interface.'” (Dkt. No. 206, at 4; see Id. Ex. 11, Feb. 8, 2019 Infringement Contentions, App'x A-1, at 1 (“interface within the head unit”).) Defendants argue that “the PTAB foreclosed a misconception that ‘functionally and structurally' separate components could be housed together, ” and “Defendants' proposal simply incorporates the clarification the PTAB made and prevents any confusion regarding the ‘interface' term.” (Dkt. No. 206, at 5.) Further, Defendants argue that “[t]he PTAB clarification is confirmed by the '786 patent and its prosecution history.” (Id.)

         Plaintiff replies: “[N]othing in the '786 Patent or its prosecution history requires separate housings for the claimed interface and the car stereo. In fact, neither the car stereo nor the interface is described as having a housing, nor are the terms ‘housed' or ‘housing' used (much less defined) in the '786 Patent.” (Dkt. No. 208, at 1.) Plaintiff argues that “Defendants' argument fails because it assumes the conclusion they seek to prove: that an interface added to an existing car stereo cannot be housed together with the car stereo.” (Id. at 2.)

         (2) Analysis

         Claim 1 of the '786 Patent, for example, recites (emphasis added):

         1. An audio device integration system comprising:

a first connector electrically connectable to a car stereo;
a second connector electrically connectable to an after-market audio device external to the car stereo;
a third connector electrically connectable to one or more auxiliary input sources external to the car stereo and the after-market audio device;
an interface connected between said first and second electrical connectors for channeling audio signals to the car stereo from the after-market audio device, said interface including a microcontroller in electrical communication with said first and second electrical connectors, said microcontroller pre-programmed to execute:
a first pre-programmed code portion for remotely controlling the after-market audio device using the car stereo by receiving a control command from the car stereo through said first connector in a format incompatible with the after-market audio device, processing the received control command into a formatted command compatible with the after-market audio device, and transmitting the formatted command to the after-market audio device through said second connector for execution by the after-market audio device;
a second pre-programmed code portion for receiving data from the after-market audio device through said second connector in a format incompatible with the car stereo, processing the received data into formatted data compatible with the car stereo, and transmitting the formatted data to the car stereo through said first connector for display by the car stereo; and
a third pre-programmed code portion for switching to one or more auxiliary input sources connected to said third electrical connector.

         The parties' proposed constructions are identical except that Defendants propose the “interface” must be “housed separately from the car stereo.”

In Honda, the Court explained:
Plaintiff contends that “[n]othing in the prosecution history . . . excludes any possible structural or functional overlap between the interface and car stereo.” This contradicts the arguments made by the patentee during prosecution and the claims themselves, which require a functionally and structurally separate component from the car stereo. To the extent Plaintiff argues that the claimed “interface” and the car stereo are not functionally and structurally separate, the Court rejects this argument.
However, the Court's finding that the “interface” must be functionally and structurally separate from the “car stereo” does not mean the claims necessarily exclude an interface that, for example, is installed behind the dashboard, either at production time or thereafter. The Court's construction does not require the interface to be external to the “car stereo, ” or physically separate from the “physical devices” that make-up the “car stereo.” '786 Patent at col. 5, ll. 1-13. Furthermore, the claims do not require a specific type of connector or connection between the interface and the car stereo. Instead, the intrinsic evidence just says that the “interface” must be functionally and structurally separate from the components or sub-components that make up the “car stereo.”

Honda at 21 (citation omitted). The Court thus explained in Honda that the “interface” need not be housed separately from the car stereo. Id.

         Defendants have not persuasively supported their arguments that the Court should depart from its finding in Honda. For example, although Figures 1-2H of the '786 Patent illustrate the “interface” as being distinct from other components, nothing in these Figures compels requiring a separate housing.

         Defendants have cited IPR proceedings in which the PTAB denied institution of an IPR and discussed the “Ido” reference (European Patent Application Publication No. EP 0950570 A2). In particular, the PTAB stated “as we understand Ido, the ‘car stereo' and the ‘interface' are housed together, there being no structural separation apparent from any disclosure cited by Petitioner.” (See Dkt. No. 203, Ex. D, IPR2018-01142, Nov. 26, 2018 Decision, at 18; see Id. at 17-18.) However, the PTAB made this statement in the context of assessing whether the cited reference disclosed an interface with “structural identity separate from the car radio.” (Id.) The PTAB did not state that separate housings are necessarily required.

         Moreover, Defendants have not shown that the PTAB's statements are binding on this Court or that the statements give rise to any estoppel or disclaimer as to Plaintiff. See Pragmatus AV, LLC v. Yahoo! Inc., No. C-13-1176, 2014 WL 1922081, at *4 (N.D. Cal. May 13, 2014) (“Ultimately, what is important here is not what the PTAB said about the claim term . . . but rather what [the patentee] said about the term in the proceedings before the PTAB and whether any disavowal or estoppel argument may be asserted based thereon.”); see also Adidas AG v. Under Armour, Inc., No. 1:14-CV-00130, Dkt. No. 201, at 2 n.1 (D. Del. Dec. 15, 2015) (“The court is not bound by a preliminary claim construction used by the PTAB for the limited purpose of denying an IPR request.”).

         Defendants have also cited various disclosures in the specification, several of which refer to an “existing” car stereo. See '786 Patent at 2:30-32 (“any available port of the car stereo”), 4:46-52 (“the term ‘integration' or ‘integrated' is intended to mean connecting one or more external devices or inputs to an existing car radio or stereo via an interface”), 6:4-11 (“the interface 20 of the present invention allows for a plurality of disparate audio devices to be integrated with an existing car radio for use therewith”), 8:33-37 (“A plurality of ports . . . are provided for allowing connection of the interface system of the present invention between an existing car radio, an after-market CD player or changer, or an auxiliary input source.”), 9:29-32 (“Ports . . . allow the audio device interface system of the present invention to be connected to one or more existing car stereos, such as an OEM car stereo or an after-market car stereo.”), 10:36-40 (“Port J1 allows the audio device ...


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