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Lucent Technologies Inc. v. Gateway

March 6, 2007

LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC., PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERCLAIM-DEFENDANT,
v.
GATEWAY, INC. AND GATEWAY COUNTRY STORES LLC, GATEWAY COMPANIES, INC., GATEWAY MANUFACTURING LLC AND COWABUNGA ENTERPRISES, INC., DEFENDANTS AND COUNTER-CLAIMANTS, AND MICROSOFT CORPORATION, INTERVENOR AND COUNTER-CLAIMANT,
MICROSOFT CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF AND COUNTERCLAIM-DEFENDANT,
v.
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC., DEFENDANT AND COUNTER-CLAIMANT
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
DELL, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Rudi M.Brewster United States Senior District Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF NO INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 4,701,954

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendants Microsoft, Dell and Gateway (collectively"Defendants") move the Court to grant summary judgment of no literal infringement and no infringement under the doctrine of equivalents with respect to U.S. Patent No. 4,701,954 ("the '954 patent"). After considering the motion and Lucent's opposition, the Court issued Special Interrogatories to clarify the issues with regard to application of the doctrine of equivalents to the claims of the '954 patent. The matter was heard on March 1, 2007. Having taken into consideration the parties' answers to the Interrogatories as well as the original briefs and the oral arguments, for the reasons herein, Defendants' motion should be GRANTED as to no literal infringement and GRANTED as to no infringement under the doctrine of equivalents..

II. BACKGROUND

The Group 3 litigation concerns U.S. Patent No. 4,701,954, describing and claiming methods for digital speech codecs - devices that transform speech signals into electrical pulses. Lucent has accused Dell, Gateway and Microsoft of infringing this patent. Claims 1, 2 and 6 are at issue; all are method claims. Claims 1 and 6 are independent claims. Claim 2 depends from claim 1.

Claims 1 and 6 share some overlap in their steps of the methods of forming multipulse excitation codes for speech patterns. Each describes an iteration of steps that must be performed in forming each pulse: generating a multipulse excitation code having a sequence of n=1, 2, . . . , N pulses for each successive time frame to provide prescribed coded speech pattern quality where N is substantially independent of the pitch of the speech pattern by iteratively forming pulses for said time frame, each pulse having a magnitude § and a location m within the frame in N successive iterations and each successive iteration including the steps of;

(1)*fn1 combining said time frame predictive parameter signals with said time frame predictive residual signals to form a signal y(n) corresponding to the time frame speech pattern portion,

(2) combining the excitation pulse sequence of the preceding iteration with said time frame predictive parameter signals to form a signal z(n) corresponding to the contribution of the preceding iteration excitation pulse sequence to the time frame speech pattern portion,

(3) forming a signal representative of the differences between said signal y(n) corresponding to the time frame speech pattern portion and said signal z(n) corresponding to the contribution of the preceding iteration excitation pulse sequence to the time frame speech pattern portion,

(4) comparing the current time frame signal representative of the differences between the signal y(n) corresponding to the time frame speech pattern portion and said signal z(n) corresponding to the contribution of the preceding iteration excitation pulse sequence to the time frame speech pattern portion with the signal of prescribed preceding time frames representative of the differences between said signal y(n) corresponding to the preceding time frame speech pattern portion and said signal z(n) corresponding to the contribution of the preceding iteration excitation pulse sequence to the preceding time frame speech pattern portion to generate a signal y time frames having a predetermined degree of similarity to the speech pattern p(n) representative of speech pattern portions of said preceding portion of the time frame, and

(5) producing an excitation pulse of magnitude § and location m for the present iteration responsive to the differences between said speech pattern portion representative signal y(n) and the sum of said signal representative of the contribution of the preceding iteration excitation pulse sequence to the time frame speech pattern portion and said signal yp(n) representative of similar speech pattern portions of said preceding time frames.

During the Markman hearing, the Court construed the claims to require that each of the five steps (numbered 1-5 above) must each be performed in forming each pulse.

The claims that issued in the '954 patent were amended from the claims that were originally filed with the application; the amendments were made in response to rejections made by the patent office for obviousness in view of two references Dunn and Wiggins and for obviousness-type double patenting over U.S. Patent No. 4,472,832 in view of Wiggins and the knowledge of one of skill in the art. Claims 1 and 6 were then amended to add the 5 steps described above that are to be performed iteratively in forming each pulse.

The patentee explained that claims as amended could be distinguished because the prior art found and removed signal redundancies from already formed multipulse excitation pulse sequence, whereas the claimed invention found and removed pitch redundancies during the formation of each successive pulse in the multipulse sequence. The patentee described that the claimed method did so by taking the difference between speech pattern portion representative signal y(n) and the sum of the representative signal of the contribution of the preceding iteration excitation pulse sequence to the time frame speech pattern and signal yp(n) representative of similar portions of the preceding time frames.

The patentee further explained that the amended claims were not obvious over U.S. Patent No. 4,472,832 and the cited art because this combination did not suggest pitch redundancy removal in the iterative process of forming multipulse sequences as claimed. According to the patentee, claim 1 set forth two steps (formation of the similarity signal yp(n) and producing an excitation pulse of magnitude ยง and location m) that were preformed during ...


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