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Lucent Technologies Inc. v. Gateway

March 14, 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,
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 Court Judge

ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF NO INFRINGEMENT OF CLAIMS 1, 2, 6, 7, 10-12, 15, AND 16 OF U.S. PATENT NO. 4,763,356

I. INTRODUCTION

Gateway moves the Court for summary judgment*fn1 that it does not infringe claims 1, 2, 6, 7, 10-12, 15 and 16 of U.S. Patent No. 4,763,356 ("the '356 patent"). Defendants Dell and Microsoft join Gateway's motion.*fn2 For the reasons herein, the Court GRANTS the motion.

II. BACKGROUND

Lucent has asserted the '356 patent against Defendants Dell, Gateway and Microsoft. This patent relates to a form entry system for filling out computerized forms using on-screen tools, in particular, without using a physical keyboard. Lucent contends that Gateway's and Dell's computers infringe the '356 patent when programmed with Microsoft Money, Microsoft Outlook, Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Windows Mobile and Pocket PC operating software.

Claims 1, 2, 6, 7, 10-12 15, and 16 in the '356 patent are means plus function claims. At the Markman hearing for the '356 patent, the Court construed each of the "means" to cover a function and a corresponding structure. In each case, the corresponding structure includes "a microprocessor 211" programmed with a particular algorithm identified with reference to the figures and column and line numbers of the '356 patent specification.

Defendants now move for summary judgment that the accused products do not infringe these means-plus-function claims. The motion was heard on March 7, 2007.

III. DISCUSSION

A. STANDARD OF LAW

Summary judgment is appropriate if the "pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) (West 2006). A dispute about a material fact is genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In considering the motion, the court must examine all the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and "all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 257 (1986).

When the moving party does not bear the burden of proof, summary judgment is warranted by demonstration of an absence of facts to support the non-moving party's case." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). Summary judgment must be granted if the party responding to the motion fails "to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof." Id. at 323.

B. ANALYSIS

1. Corresponding Structure for Means Plus Function Limitations

The main point of contention between the parties is whether or not Lucent has identified corresponding structure in the accused devices to meet the limitations of the mean-plus-function claims. According to Defendants, Lucent has not offered any evidence that accused devices employ identical or equivalent algorithms to those set forth in the corresponding structures for the '366 patent claims. Defendants contend that Lucent's expert has not examined or opined on the ...


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