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CXT Systems, Inc. v. Academy, Ltd.

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

September 5, 2019

CXT SYSTEMS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ACADEMY, LTD., D/B/A ACADEMY SPORTS OUTDOORS, ET AL., Defendants. Term Agreed Construction Term Agreed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Defendants' Proposed Construction Disputed Term Plaintiff's Proposed Construction Tailored Brands' Proposed Construction

          CLAIM CONSTRUCTION MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROY S. PAYNE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is the opening claim construction brief of CXT Systems, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) (Dkt. No. 181, filed on June 12, 2019), [1] the response of Academy Ltd., Fossil Group, Inc., Specialty Retailers, Inc., Tailored Brands, Inc., Conn's, Inc., J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc., Pier 1 Imports (U.S.), Inc., and Pier 1 Services Company (collectively “Defendants”) (Dkt. No. 188, filed on July 3, 2019), [2] and Plaintiff's reply (Dkt. No. 189, filed on July 11, 2019). The Court held a hearing on the issues of claim construction and claim definiteness on August 1, 2019. Having considered the arguments and evidence presented by the parties at the hearing and in their briefing, the Court issues this Order.

         Table of Contents

         I. BACKGROUND ............................................................................................................... 4

         II. LEGAL PRINCIPLES ..................................................................................................... 6

         A. Claim Construction ................................................................................................. 6

         B. Departing from the Ordinary Meaning of a Claim Term ........................................ 9

         C. Functional Claiming and 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6 (pre-AIA) / § 112(f) (AIA) ......... 10

         D. Definiteness Under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2 (pre-AIA) / § 112(b) (AIA) ................. 12

         III. AGREED CONSTRUCTIONS ..................................................................................... 13

         IV. CONSTRUCTION OF DISPUTED TERMS ............................................................... 23

         A. “temporary portion” / “client-side application having at least a temporary portion” ................................................................................................................. 23

         B. “processing module for processing” and “processing module” ............................ 26

         C. “application configured to manage a request/response process, ” “application configured to manage the request/response process, ” and “prior to transmitting the request from the network device for the determined one or more consumer information elements, receive and execute at the network device the client-side application configured to manage the request/response process for the network device” ............................. 29

         D. “server-side application for interacting with the central repository, ” “server-side application for interacting with a database management system, ” and “server-side application configured for communication with a host server that hosts a central data repository” ................................................. 33

         E. “single sign-on mechanism” ................................................................................. 38

         F. “automatically managing subsequent authentications of the consumer with the database management system so that the consumer will not be required to again input the consumer authentication information” ..................................... 42

         G. “retrieving one or more consumer information element from the information account by filtering data from the information account” and “retrieving the selected consumer information elements . . . by filtering data from the information account with the database management system” ........ 45

         H. “database management system” ............................................................................ 49

         I. “web-site, ” “website, ” “web site, ” and “subsequent website” .............................. 52

         J. “host servers” ........................................................................................................ 55

         K. “selected consumer information elements” .......................................................... 59

         L. “access to the information account” ..................................................................... 61

         M. “information account comprising a plurality of consumer information elements associated with a consumer and being subject to the consumer's control and management” and “information account comprising a plurality of consumer information elements associated with a consumer and subject to the consumer's control and management” ........................................................ 63

         N. “name field, ” “geographic address field, ” “information account, ” “personal information account, ” “information element, ” and “authentication information” ................................................................................ 66

         V. CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................ 67

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges infringement of three U.S. Patents: No. 7, 016, 875 (the “'875 Patent”), No. 7, 257, 581 (the “'581 Patent”), and No. 8, 260, 806 (the “'806 Patent”) (collectively, the “Asserted Patents”). The patents are related through a chain of continuation and continuation-in-part applications. Specifically, the '875 Patent issued from an application that was a continuation-in-part of the application that issued as the '581 Patent. The '806 Patent issued from an application that was a continuation of the application that issued as the '581 Patent. The earliest priority claim in each of the Asserted Patents is to an application filed August 4, 2000.

         In general, the Asserted Patents are directed to technology for storing, managing, and distributing consumer information to, e.g., ease a computer user's provision of authentication and other information to various vendors for electronic transactions.

         The abstract of the '875 Patent provides:

Systems and methods for providing access to an information account stored in a central data repository. The information account is associated with a consumer and is subject to the consumer's control and management. Consumer authentication information is input by the consumer in connection with a first request for access to the information account via a first web-site. Responsive to authentication of the consumer, a single sign-on feature may be activated for automatically managing subsequent authentications of the consumer so that the consumer will not be required to again input the consumer authentication information upon initiating a second request for access to the information account while interacting with a subsequent web-site that is configured to provide access to the information account upon authentication of the consumer. The single sign-on function may be deactivated upon the occurrence of a terminating event, such as the expiration of a time-out interval.

         The abstracts of the '581 and '806 Patents are substantially identical and provide:[3]

Consumers may centrally store, manage and distribute information using an information account stored in a central data repository. The information account is accessible from any client device, without the need to permanently store or install proprietary software thereon. The information account comprises a plurality of consumer information elements stored in a tagged data format. A host server hosts a database management system for accessing the information account. A client-side application may manage communications with the host server. Alternatively, the client device may interact with a vendor server that executes a server-side application for managing communications with the host server. In response to a request from the consumer, the host server may filter selected consumer information elements from the information account and transmit the filtered consumer information elements to the client-side or server-side application. The filtered consumer information elements may then be automatically integrated into a vendor business process on behalf of the consumer, if desired.

         Claim 27 of the '875 Patent is provided here as an exemplary system claim:

27. A system storing, managing and distributing consumer information via a distributed network, comprising:
a central data repository accessible via the distributed electronic network for storing an information account, the information account containing consumer information elements that are changed by the consumer, a first consumer information element of the information account comprising one or more name fields to identify the consumer, a second consumer information element of the information account comprising one or more geographic address fields associated with the consumer; and
a host server for communicating with the central data repository and with a network device via the distributed electronic network and for executing computer-executable instructions for:
receiving with the host server, over the distributed electronic network, a first request from the network device for access to the information account and consumer authentication information in response to the consumer manually inputting the consume authentication information while interacting with a first web-site;
in response to the request, authenticating the consumer with the host server based on the consumer authentication information, thereby providing the consumer with access to the information account stored in the central data repository;
in response to authenticating the consumer, automatically managing subsequent authentications of the consumer with the host server so that the consumer will not be required to again input the consumer authentication information upon initiating a second request for access to the information account while interacting with a subsequent web-site that is configured to provide access to the information account upon authentication of the consumer;
in response to the first, second, and subsequent requests for access to the information account stored in the central data repository, retrieving one or more consumer information elements from the information account with the host server by filtering data from the information account with the database management system based on an identification of a website being accessed be the consumer;
sending the retrieved consumer information elements over the distributed electronic network;
parsing the retrieved consumer information elements; and auto-populating input fields of a displayed web page file of the web-site being accessed by the consumer with the consumer information elements.

         Claim 36 of the '581 Patent is provided here as an exemplary method claim:

36. A computer-implemented method for storing, managing and distributing consumer information via a distributed electronic network, the method comprising the steps of:
hosting a web page file accessible via the distributed electronic network by a client device executing a browser, the web page file prompting a consumer to input selected consumer information elements; and executing a server-side application configured for communication with a host server that hosts a central data repository, the server-side application operable to:
determine the selected consumer information elements that are to be input into the web page file by the consumer,
transmit a request to the host server for retrieval of the selected consumer information elements from an information account associated with the consumer,
retrieving retrieve the selected consumer information elements by filtering data from the information account with a database management system, in response to receiving the selected consumer information elements from the host server, passing pass the selected consumer information elements to a processing module for processing, and autopopulating autopopulate the selected information elements into at least one input field of a web pare file.

         II. LEGAL PRINCIPLES

         A. Claim Construction

         “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)). First, 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 not helpful to a court. Id. Extrinsic evidence is “less reliable than the patent and its prosecution history in determining how to read claim terms.” Id. The Supreme Court has 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 factfinding must be reviewed for clear error on appeal.

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

         B. 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.”[4] 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).

         C. 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. Williamson, 792 F.3d at 1348; Masco Corp., 303 F.3d at 1326. 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).

         D. 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., 572 U.S. 898, 910 (2014). If it does not, the claim fails § 112, ¶ 2 and is therefore invalid as indefinite. Id. at 901. 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 911. 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. BASF Corp. v. Johnson Matthey Inc., 875 F.3d 1360, 1365 (Fed. Cir. 2017). “[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). The standard “must provide objective boundaries for those of skill in the art.” Interval Licensing LLC v. AOL, Inc., 766 F.3d 1364, 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2014).

         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 function. 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.

         III. AGREED CONSTRUCTIONS

         The parties have agreed to the following constructions set forth in their Joint Construction Chart (Dkt. No. 192).

Term[5]
Agreed Construction

“auto-populating input fields of a displayed web page file of the web-site being accessed by the consumer with the consumer information elements”

. '875 Patent Claims 1, 27

automatically populating the information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form[6]

“auto-populating input fields of a displayed web nale file of the web-site being accessed by the consumer with the consumer information elements”

. '875 Patent Claim 17

automatically populating the information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“auto-populates input fields of a displayed web page file of the web-site being accessed by the consumer with the consumer information elements”

. '875 Patent Claim 39

automatically populates the information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the selected consumer information elements into at least one input field of a web page file”

. '581 Patent Claim 1

automatically populating the selected consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the selected consumer information elements into at least one input field of a web page file”

. '581 Patent Claim 24

automatically populating the selected consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

autopopulating autopopulate the selected information elements into at least one input field of a web page file” [7]

. '581 Patent Claim 36

automatically populates the selected information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

auto populating autopopulate the selected consumer information elements into the input fields of the web page file” [8]

. '581 Patent Claim 50

automatically populate the selected consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the selected consumer information elements into at least one input field of a web page file”

. '581 Patent Claim 58

automatically populating the selected consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the selected consumer information elements into at least one input field of a web page”

. '581 Patent Claim 78

automatically populating the selected consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the selected consumer information elements into at least one input field of a second web page file”

. '581 Patent Claim 82

automatically populating the selected consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the selected consumer information elements into at least one input field of a web page”

. '581 Patent Claim 88

automatically populating the selected consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the filtered one or more consumer information elements into corresponding fields”

. '806 Patent Claim 1

automatically populating the filtered one or more consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the filtered one or more consumer information elements into corresponding input fields of the web page file displayed on the network device”

. '806 Patent Claim 11

automatically populating the filtered one or more consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the filtered one or more consumer information elements into corresponding input fields of the web page file displayed on the network device”

. '806 Patent Claim 19

automatically populating the filtered one or more consumer information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“autopopulating the filtered one or more user information elements into corresponding fields”

. '806 Patent Claim 27

automatically populating filtered one or more user information elements in input fields that a user can directly modify and that are displayed in a webpage form

“authenticating the consumer based on the authentication information”

. '581 Patent Claims 1, 24, 43, 83

information sufficient to verify the identity of a user that is separate and distinct from consumer information elements

“web nale file” . '581 Patent[9]

An HTML document or other related file that is stored on a server and that an HTTP server retrieves and returns in response to a HTTP request

“web page file”

. '581 Patent Claims 1, 24, 36, 58, 82

“web pare file”

. '581 Patent Claim 36

“web-page file” . '581 Patent[10]

“a system storing, managing and distributing consumer information via a distributed network”

. '875 Patent Claim 27

a system for storing, managing and distributing consumer information via a distributed network

“consume authentication information” . '875 Patent Claim 27

consumer authentication information

“wherein, response to receiving the equipment identifier”

. '875 Patent Claim 44

wherein, in response to receiving the equipment identifier

“consumer information elements that are changed by the consumer”

. '875 Patent Claims 1, 17, 27 . '806 Patent Claims 1, 17, 27

consumer information elements that are actually changed by the consumer after having been initially input into the information account

“network device”

. '875 Patent Claims 1, 27

. '581 Patent Claims 1, 24, 58, 82

. '806 Patent Claim 1, 11, 19, 27

a remote device connected via a network to a server (plain and ordinary meaning)

“integrate one or more consumer information elements into a vendor's business process”

. '806 Patent Claims 2, 12

use submitted consumer information to carry out a transaction between a vendor and the consumer

“consumer information elements”

. '875 Patent Claims 1, 17, 27

. '581 Patent Claims 1, 24, 36, 58, 82

. '806 Patent Claim 1, 11, 19

data or information relating to a consumer, but not including consumer authentication information”

“consumer authentication information”

. '875 Patent Claims 1, 17, 27

. '581 Patent Claims 1, 24, 41, 59, 83

. '806 Patent Claim 1, 11, 19

information sufficient to verify the identity of a user that is separate and distinct from consumer information elements

“subsequent authentication” . '875 Patent Claims 1, 17, 27

authentication of the consumer with the database management system based on the consumer authentication information in response to the consumer interacting with a web-site different than the first web- site

“vendor server”

. '806 Patent Claim 1, 11, 19, 27

a server of a person, business, enterprise or entity that offers for sale and sells products or services to consumers

“consumer authentication information”

. '875 Patent Claims 1, 17, 27

. '581 Patent Claims 1, 24, 41, 59, 83

. '806 Patent Claim 1, 11, 19

information sufficient to verify the identity of a user that is separate and distinct from consumer information elements

“host server”

. '875 Patent Claims 17, 27

the device that hosts the software for accessing information in the central data repository and for communicating with the network device[s]

“web page”

. '806 Patent Claims 1, 27

an HTML file and associated files that an HTTP server returns in response to a request

Sequence of steps in a claim generally

Where a step refers to an antecedent step using a definite article, the step must occur at some time after the antecedent step.

Sequence of steps in Claim 36 of the '581 Patent.

Steps [c], [d], and [e] must occur in the recited order, where:[11]

. [c] is “determine the selected

consumer information elements that are to be input into the web page file by the consumer, ”

. [d] is “transmit a request to the host server for retrieval of the selected consumer information elements from an information account associated with the consumer, ” and

. [e] is “retrieving retrieve the selected consumer information elements by filtering data from the information account with a database management system”

Sequence of steps in Claim 50 of the '581 Patent.

Steps [c], [d], and [e] must occur in the recited order, where:[12]

. [c] is “determine a plurality of selected consumer information elements that are to be input into input fields of the web page file, ”

. [d] is “transmit a request to the host server for retrieval of the selected consumer information elements from the information account, ” and

. [e] is “retrieving retrieve the selected consumer information elements by filtering data from the information account with a database management system.”

Term
Agreed Construction

Sequence of steps in Claim 1 of the '806 Patent.

The steps must occur in the order indicated below: A computer-readable storage medium having stored thereon computer- executable instructions for storing, managing, and distributing consumer information via a distributed electronic network, by causing a computing device to perform operations comprising:

1 or 2: determining one or more consumer information elements for fields of a web page, the one or more consumer information elements associated with an information account and in a data storage accessible via the distributed electronic network, the information account comprising a plurality of consumer information elements associated with a consumer and being subject to the consumer's control and management;

1 or 2: causing a browser to display a web page file that has been retrieved from a vendor server, the web page file including an instruction that causes the browser to request transmission of a client- side application having at least a temporary portion;

3: executing at a network device an application configured to manage a request/response process for the network device;

4: transmitting over the distributed electronic network from the network device a request for the determined one or more consumer information elements the request including consumer authentication information and being made by the network device responsive to an input command supplied by the consumer;

5: receiving at the network device the one or more consumer information elements filtered from the information account; and

6: autopopulating the filtered one or more consumer information elements into corresponding fields.

Sequence of steps in Claim 11 of the '806 Patent.

The steps must occur in the order indicated below: A method for storing, managing, and distributing consumer information via a distributed electronic network comprising:

1 or 2: determining one or more consumer information elements required by input fields of a web page file displayed on a network device, the one or more consumer information elements being stored in an information account in a central data repository accessible via the distributed electronic network, the information account comprising a plurality of consumer information elements associated with a consumer and being subject to the consumer's control and management;

1 or 2: causing a browser to display a web page file that has been retrieved from a vendor server, the web page file including an instruction that causes the browser to request transmission of a client- side application having at least a temporary portion;

4: transmitting over the distributed electronic network from the network device a request for the determined one or more consumer information elements, the request including consumer authentication information and being made by the network device responsive to an input command supplied by the consumer;

3: prior to transmitting the request from the network device for the determined one or more consumer information elements, receiving and executing at the network device the client-side application configured to manage the request/response process for the network device;

5: filtering the one or more consumer information elements from the data including the one or more consumer information elements; and

6: autopopulating the filtered one or more consumer information elements into corresponding input fields of the web page file displayed on the network device.

Sequence of steps in Claim 19 of the '806 Patent.

The steps must occur in the order indicated below: A system for storing, managing, and distributing consumer information via a distributed electronic network comprising at least one processor programmed to execute a method comprising:

1 or 2: determining one or more consumer information elements required by input fields of a web page file displayed on a network device, the one or more consumer information elements being stored in an information account in a central data repository accessible via the distributed electronic network, the information account comprising a plurality of consumer information elements associated with a consumer and being subject to the consumer's control and management;

1 or 2: causing a browser to display a web page file that has been retrieved from a vendor server, the web page file including an instruction that causes the browser to request transmission of a client- side application having at least a temporary portion;

4: transmitting over the distributed electronic network from the network device a request for the determined one or more consumer information elements, the request including consumer authentication information and being made by the network device responsive to an input command supplied by the consumer;

3: prior to transmitting the request from the network device for the determined one or more consumer information elements, receive and execute at the network device the client-side application configured to manage the request/response process for the network device;

5: receiving at the network device in response to the request data including the one or more consumer information elements retrieved from the information account by filtering data from the information account and transmitted over the distributed electronic network to the network device;

6: filtering the one or more consumer information elements from the data including the one or more consumer information elements; and

7: autopopulating the filtered one or more consumer information elements into corresponding input fields of the web page file displayed on the network device.

Sequence of steps in Claim 27 of the '806 Patent.

The steps must occur in the order indicated below: A method performed by a computing device having a processor and memory, comprising:

1 or 2: determining by the processor one or more user information elements for fields of a web page, the one or more user information elements associated with an information account and in a data storage accessible via the distributed electronic network, the information account comprising a plurality of user information elements associated with a user and being subject to the user's control and management; 1 or 2: causing a browser to display a web page file that has been retrieved from a vendor server, the web page file including an instruction that causes the browser to request transmission of a client- side application having at least a temporary portion;

3: executing at the network device an application configured to manage a request/response process for the network device;

4: transmitting over the distributed electronic network from the network device a request for the determined one or more user information elements the request including user authentication information and being made by the network device responsive to an input command supplied by the user;

5: receiving at the network device the one or more user information elements filtered from the information account; and

6: autopopulating the filtered one or more user information elements into corresponding fields.

         Having reviewed the intrinsic and extrinsic evidence of record, and as qualified above, the Court hereby adopts the parties' agreed constructions.

         IV. CONSTRUCTION OF DISPUTED TERMS

         A. “temporary portion” / “client-side application having at least a temporary portion”

Disputed Term

Plaintiff’s Proposed Construction

Defendants’ Proposed Construction

“temporary portion”[13]

. ’806 Patent Claims 1, 11,

19, 27

a portion of an application that is specific to the browser session only and removed from the client device memory after its execution a portion of an application that is specific to the browser session only and removed from the client device after its execution
“client-side application having at least a temporary portion”

. ’806 Patent Claims 1, 11,

19, 27

         Because the parties' arguments and proposed constructions with respect to these terms are related, the Court addresses the terms together.

         The Parties' Positions

         Plaintiff submits: The temporary portion of the client-side application is temporary in that it is removed from the device memory rather than from the device generally. The Asserted Patents provide that the application “resides in temporary memory storage” of the device and that it “may be removed from the client device [] after its execution is complete.” This temporary storage is distinct from permanent storage (such as a hard drive), and removal from permanent storage is not required by or disclosed in the patents. Dkt. No. 181 at 9-10.

         In addition to the claims themselves, Plaintiff cites the following intrinsic and extrinsic evidence to support its position: Intrinsic evidence: '875 Patent col.7 ll.55-58; '581 Patent col.7 ll.35-38; '806 Patent col.7 ll.22-25. Extrinsic evidence: Vijh Decl.[14] ¶ 90 (Plaintiff's Ex. D, Dkt. No. 181-5).

         Defendants respond: The Asserted Patents teach that the application “may be removed from the device, ” not that it is simply removed from memory. This means the “temporary portion” is not permanently kept on the device in permanent storage. The patents also teach that the application is “specific to the browser session only and not the client device” and that, if the application is not removed from the device, it would be specific to the device. Dkt. No. 188 at 8- 10.

         In addition to the claims themselves, Defendants cite the following intrinsic evidence to support their position: '806 Patent col.1 ll.47-52, col.1 ll.63-67, col.3 ll.51-54, col.7 ll.22-27.

         Plaintiff replies: The '806 Patent teaches that the application resides in temporary memory and “may” be removed from the device. That is, the application is not necessarily removed from the device. Further, it is not necessary to remove the application from permanent storage to make it specific to a browser session. Dkt. No. 189 at 6-7.

         Plaintiff cites further intrinsic evidence to support its position: '806 Patent col.7 ll.22-27.

         Analysis

         The issue in dispute is whether the “temporary portion” of the client-side application is necessarily removed entirely from the device after its execution. It is not.

         The '806 Patent does not equate a “temporary” client-side application with one that is necessarily entirely removed from the client device once execution of the application is complete. Rather, the patent indicates that the client-side application is temporary in that it resides in temporary memory. In addition, it may be (but need not be) removed entirely from the device after its execution is complete. Specifically, the patent provides:

The client-side application 105 resides in temporary memory storage of the client device 104, such as cache memory or the like, and may be removed from the client device 104 after its execution is complete. The client-side application 105 is specific to the browser session only and not to the client device 104.

'806 Patent col.7 ll.22-27 (emphasis added). From this, the Court understands the removal of the client-side application from the device is permissive or exemplary. It is not definitional of a client-side application with a “temporary portion.” This passage allows that the client-side application is not necessarily removed from the client device (it “may be” removed) even while stating the client-side application “is specific to the browser session.” Thus, “specific to the browser session” does not mean the application is necessarily removed from the device. The defining feature of a temporary application (or portion of an application) is that it resides in temporary memory and is specific to the browser session only.

         Accordingly, the Court determines that “temporary portion” does not need to be construed apart from “client-side application having at least a temporary portion” and construes “client-side application having at least a temporary portion” as follows:

. “client-side application having at least a temporary portion” means “client-side application having at least a portion that: (1) is specific to the browser session only and (2) resides in the client device's temporary memory storage.”

         B. “processing module for processing” and “processing module”

Disputed Term
Plaintiff's Proposed Construction
Defendants' Proposed Construction

“processing module for processing”

. '581 Patent Claim 36

plain and ordinary meaning

indefinite

“processing module [executed by the vendor server]”

. '806 Patent Claims 8, 18

plain and ordinary meaning

indefinite

         Because the parties' arguments and proposed constructions with respect to these terms are related, the Court addresses the terms together.

         The Parties' Positions

         Plaintiff submits: The term “processing module” refers to code that is executed by a processing entity, such as a server. As recognized by Defendants' expert, the term “module” itself refers to “a collection of routines and data structures that performs a particular task.” Dkt. No. 181 at 10-11.

         In addition to the claims themselves, Plaintiff cites the following intrinsic and extrinsic evidence to support its position: Intrinsic evidence: '581 Patent col.9 ll.18-20; '806 Patent col.8 ll.29-31. Extrinsic evidence: Vijh Decl. ¶¶ 31-34 (Plaintiff s Ex. D, Dkt. No. 181-5); Gray Decl.[15]¶ 66 (Plaintiffs Ex. E, Dkt. No. 181-6).

         Defendants respond: The term “processing module” does not itself denote any particular structure, it is a nonce phrase that is used in the claims to denote a structure by the function it performs. Specifically, the “processing module” of Claim 36 of the '581 is for processing the selected consumer information elements, and the “processing module” of Claims 8 and 18 of the '806 Patent is each for processing of the consumer information elements that is executed by the server. As such, “processing module” is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6. The Asserted Patents do not disclose any algorithm for the processing functions, and the patents therefore do not satisfy the structural-disclosure requirement of § 112, ¶ 6. Consequently, “processing module” renders the claims indefinite. Dkt. No. 188 at 10-13.

         In addition to the claims themselves, Defendants cite the following intrinsic evidence to support their position: '581 Patent col.5 ll.45-49, col.8 l.59 - col.9 l.20, col.10 ll.38-54; '806 Patent col.5 ll.35-39, col.8 l.44 - col.9 l.4, col.10 ll.22-38.

         Plaintiff replies: The “processing module” terms are part of methods in the claims and are not used to denote structure that performs a specific function. The methods involve passing information to the processing module, but the claims do not require that the processing module perform any ...


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