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Area 55, Inc., A California Corporation v. Celeras LLC

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 6, 2011

AREA 55, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION,
(NLS) AND VINTURI, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION,
PLAINTIFFS AND
COUNTERDEFENDANTS,
v.
CELERAS LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; PANDAMERICAN LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; FRANMARA INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION; MARCO POLO TRADING COMPANY LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; AND PANDAMERICAN TRADING GROUP, LTD., DEFENDANTS AND COUNTERCLAIMANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marilyn L. Huff, District Judge United States District Court

TENTATIVE CLAIM CONSTRUCTION ORDER FOR UNITED STATES PATENT NUMBER 7,614,614 AND PATENT NUMBER 7,841,584

On April 1, 2011, the parties submitted their opening claim construction briefs. (Doc. Nos. 117, 118.) On April 18, 2011, the parties submitted their responsive claim construction briefs. (Doc. Nos. 129, 130.) After due consideration of the parties' briefing, the Court issues the following tentative claim construction order.

Claim Construction -- Legal Standard

The "bedrock principle" of patent law is that the "claims of a patent define the invention." Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005). In construing claim terms, a court must determine the meaning of any disputed words from the perspective of one of ordinary skill in the pertinent art at the time of filing. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1313.

The baseline for the analysis in claim construction is the "ordinary and customary meaning" of the claim term. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1312-13. However, the "ordinary and customary meaning" phrase itself has a specialized meaning in patent law. It is the meaning that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art at the time of the invention. Id. at 1313. That person having 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. If the meaning of a term is not readily apparent, the court must then look to other intrinsic evidence to define the term. See id. at 1314.

A court must read claims "in view of the specification, of which they are a part." Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 979 (Fed. Cir. 1995). The 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." Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic, Inc.,

90 F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1996). A court may also look beyond the patent and consult the prosecution history, if in evidence, during claim construction. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317. The patent and its prosecution history "usually provides the technological and temporal context to enable the court to ascertain the meaning of the claim to one of ordinary skill in the art at the time of the invention." V-Formation, Inc. v. Benetton Group SpA, 401 F.3d 1307, 1310 (Fed. Cir. 2005). In addition to intrinsic evidence, a court may also consider pertinent extrinsic evidence. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317.

The patent claims should generally be construed to encompass the preferred embodiments described in the specification, and it is often error to adopt a construction that does not include them. See On-Line Techs., Inc. v. Bodenseewerk Perkin-Elmer GmbH, 386 F.3d 1133, 1138 (Fed. Cir. 2004). However, a court must not import limitations from the specifications into the claim. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1323 ("[A]lthough the specification often describes very specific embodiments of the invention, we have repeatedly warned against confining the claims to those embodiments."); see also Agfa Corp. v. Creo Prods., Inc., 451 F.3d 1366, 1367-77 (Fed. Cir. 2006); Ormco Corp. v. Align Tech., Inc., 463 F.3d 1299, 1306-07 (Fed. Cir. 2006). Further, "the fact that the specification describes only a single embodiment, standing alone, is insufficient to limit otherwise broad claim language." Howmedia Osteonics Corp. v. Wright Med. Tech., Inc., 540 F.3d 1337, 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

When a patent contains multiple claims, the doctrine of "claim differentiation" provides that "each claim in a patent is presumptively different in scope." RF Del., Inc. v. Pac. Keystone Techs., Inc., 326 F.3d 1255, 1263 (Fed. Cir. 2003). The doctrine is based on a commonplace notion that patentees use different words or phrases in different claims to indicate that the claims have different meanings. Andersen Corp. v. Fiber Composites, LLC, 474 F.3d 1361, 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2007).

"[T]he prosecution history can often inform the meaning of the claim language by demonstrating how the inventor understood the invention and whether the inventor limited the invention in the course of the prosecution, making the claim scope narrower than it would otherwise be." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317. The doctrine of prosecution disclaimer is well established and precludes "patentees from recapturing through claim interpretation specific meanings disclaimed during prosecution." Omega Eng'g, Inc. v. Raytek Corp., 334 F.3d 1314, 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2003). For prosecution history disclaimer to apply there must be "a clear and unmistakable disavowal of scope during prosecution." Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Endo Pharms. Inc., 438 F.3d 1123, 1136 (Fed. Cir. 2006). There is no such "clear and unmistakable" disavowal if the statements are subject to "more than one reasonable interpretation." SanDisk Corp. v. Memorex Prods., Inc., 415 F.3d 1278, 1287 (Fed. Cir. 2005); see also Omega, 334 F.3d at 1324 (stating that the doctrine does not apply "where the alleged disavowal of claim scope is ambiguous").

The Court reviews each claim and considered each construction in light of the applicable standards of law. The Court has given the appropriate weight to the intrinsic evidence and, where appropriate, has declined to import limitations from the specifications.

The Court construes the claim terms in dispute as indicated in the boxes in the charts below. The Court further incorporates the notes as explanations of its constructions.

CLAIM CONSTRUCTION CHART FOR PATENT 7,614,614 ("'614 Patent")

(language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold A method of aerating wine, the method comprising: disposing a venturi apparatus in vertical alignment with a receptacle such that a liquid flow path vertically aligned;

pouring wine from a bottle, the wine flowing vertically downward due to gravity, through an opening in a top of the exposed to the atmosphere into a reservoir of the venturi apparatus at a beginning of the liquid flow path about atmospheric pressure in the reservoir;

continuing to dispose the apparatus such that the wine flows vertically downward from the reservoir;

decreasing pressure of the wine in a vicinity of an air intake ;

drawing air through the air intake due to the pressure decrease ;

mixing the wine with the air drawn through the air intake to form aerated wine; and continuing to dispose the apparatus in vertical alignment with the receptacle such that the aerated wine flows from the apparat receptacle.

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction Construction Construction

"venturi apparatus" tubular structure that is constricted an apparatus containing a a fitting or tubular structure, in the middle and flared on both plurality of sections defining a ends liquid flow path (as defined at both ends below) as well as an air intake (as defined below) specification. See Note 1 below.]

"liquid flow path" Construction Unnecessary a plurality of connected sections forming a sequential path or passageway for liquid to flow,

{a sequential path or passageway said sections consisting of a first through which a fluid is caused to funnel section, first cylindrical flow} section, an intermediate passageway having a ceiling with a diameter greater than the first cylindrical section located immediately above, a second cylindrical section, and a second funnel section See Note 2 below.]

"about atmospheric approximately atmospheric approximately atmospheric pressure" pressure pressure Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"decreasing pressure of the Construction Unnecessary a reduction in pressure of the wine" wine caused by flowing from the first cylindrical section into the {reducing the pressure of the intermediate passageway having wine} a ceiling with a greater diameter than the first cylindrical section immediately above

"air intake" Construction Unnecessary At least one sidearm passageway fluidly connected to the intermediate passageway section

{an opening through which air of the liquid flow path. enters}

below.]

"pressure decrease" Construction Unnecessary a reduction in pressure of the wine caused by flowing from the first cylindrical section into the previous section

{reduction in pressure} intermediate passageway having a ceiling with a greater diameter than the first cylindrical section immediately above

NOTE 1:

Plaintiffs argue that the specification of the '614 patent contains an express definition of the term "venturi apparatus." (Do specification may reveal a special definition given to a claim term by the patentee that differs from the meaning it would oth "A patentee may act as its own lexicographer and assign to a term a unique definition that is different from its ordinary and c must clearly express that intent in the written description." Helmsderfer v. Bobrick Washroom Equip., Inc.

The '614 patent states in its written description: "Venturi-type devices are well-known in the art. Generally, such devices c and in particular pipe structures, that are constricted in the middle and flared at both ends." U.S. Patent 7,614,614 col. 1 l shows a clear intent to define the term "venturi apparatus," and the Court construes the term to give it the express definition

Defendant argues that the term should be given the additional limitations of "containing a plurality of sections defining a intake." (Doc. No. 110 at 2-7.) It is unnecessary to add these limitations to this term given that claim 17 already contains the te and these claim terms will be given their own constructions. See Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration Sys. terms are presumed to have meaning" and that claims terms should not be rendered "unnecessary and superfluous").

NOTE 2:

Defendant argues that during prosecution, the patentees expressly limited the claim scope of the '614 patent and the term "liqu art rejection. (Doc. No. 118 at 7-9.) Plaintiffs argue that Defendant is attempting to improperly import limitations from the No. 117 at 12-14.)

The doctrine of prosecution disclaimer precludes "patentees from recapturing through claim interpretation specific meanings dis Omega, 334 F.3d at 1323. "Under the doctrine of prosecution disclaimer, a patentee may limit the meaning of a claim term by making disavowal of scope during prosecution. This may occur, for example, when the patentee explicitly characterizes an aspect of hi overcome prior art." Purdue Pharma, 438 F.3d at 1136. However, the doctrine does not apply "where 334 F.3d at 1234.

On October 13, 2008, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") issued an Office Action and rejected the patentees the '614 patent in its entirety as either anticipated or obvious in light of certain prior art, Yamamoto and Kamelmacher. (Doc Allen ("Allen Decl.") Ex. A at 83-90.) In response to this Office Action, the patentees amended the claims in the application the USPTO:

By this amendment, Applicants have more clearly defined the subject matter which they regard as the invention, and further, hav distinguished the present invention over the cited references. In this regard, independent Claim 1 and new independent claim 1 remaining claims depend, include an intermediate passageway defining a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection ceiling of the intermediate passageway is fluidly coupled to and has a diameter larger than the first cylindrical section flow path that operatively causes fluid passing therethrough to experience a decrease in pressure. . . .

Such structure is completely lacking in cited references.

(Id. at 103-04 (emphasis in original).) The patentees further stated: "Neither Yamamoto nor Kamelmacher include Applicant's novel (Id. at 106.)

The Court concludes that these statements in the prosecution history represent a clear and unmistakable disavowal of claim scop examiner due to anticipation and obviousness, the patentees argued that the above structural limitation of an intermediate pass what made their invention novel over the prior art. Accordingly, the patentees clearly and unmistakably disavowed any claim in structural limitation of an intermediate passageway to be part of the claim term "liquid flow path."

The Court's conclusion that the term "liquid flow path" requires the limitation of an intermediate passageway is further suppor remainder of the prosecution history. The specification explains that the problem with the prior art was that because conventi it reduces the area in which a second fluid could mix with the first fluid and precludes the two fluids from mixing. '614 Pate that the invention solves this problem by having an intermediate passageway that causes the first fluid to "experience a slight conventional venturi design." Id. col. 2 ll. 31-34. The second fluid is then introduced at this point of reduced pressure in the intermediate passageway, facil flow dynamics. See id. col. 2 ll. 35-50. In addition, in his reasons for allowance, the USPTO examiner mentioned the importance of the intermediate making the invention novel over the prior art. (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 185.) The examiner stated:

[T]he prior art of record fails to disclose or suggest a process for aerating wine or an apparatus for contacting a liquid with vertically aligned venturi apparatus that is open to atmosphere, such that the liquid, in particular wine, which is poured into device under goes a reduction in pressure during passage through the device, in particular an intermediate passageway of greate than the upstream portion of the flow path, so as to draw gas, in particular air into the device in the area of reduced pressur (Id.)

The Court also concludes that there is not a meaningful difference between the term "liquid flow path"--used in the claim langua path--used in the prosecution history disclaimer. The patent defines the term "fluid" in the specification as "any type of liqu Halmsderfer, 527 F.3d at 1381 ("patentee may act as its own lexicographer"). Accordingly, the term "liquid" is contained in the definitio limitations related to the term "fluid flow path" should also, therefore, be contained in the term "liquid flow path."

Plaintiffs argue that the disclaimer was not a clear disavowal because the only independent claims in the patent at the time of that ultimately issued as unasserted claims 1 and 12, not asserted claim 17--the present claim. (Doc. No. 129. at 7-10.) Howev regarding the meaning of a claim term are relevant to the interpretation of that term in every claim of the patent absent a cle Techs., Inc. v. Cardinal IG Co., 54 F.3d 1570, 1579 (Fed. Cir. 1995); accord. ERBE Elektromedizin GmbH v. Canady Tech. LLC 2010). Accordingly, the patentees' statements regarding the term "fluid flow path" apply equally to claim 17 and the term "liq part of the application at the time of the statements. See id.

Plaintiffs also argue that the doctrine of claim differentiation prevents the addition of the proposed structural limitations b described in other claims in addition to the term "fluid/liquid flow path." (Doc. No. 117 at 15-17.) Plaintiffs argue that th superfluous. (Id.) However, the doctrine of claim differentiation only creates a "presumption that each claim in a patent has a different scope Control Corp. v. Velan, Inc., 438 F.3d 1374, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2006). Further, this presumption patentee. See ERBE, 629 F.3d at 1286-87; see also Curtiss-Wright, 438 F.3d at 1381 ("claim differentiation 'can not

Although the Court agrees with Defendant that there was a disavowal of claim scope during the prosecution of the '614 patent, t as the construction Defendants propose. Defendants proposed construction requires a five section structure consisting of a fir an intermediate passageway, a second cylindrical section, and a second funnel section. (Doc. No. 110 at 2-3.) The prosecution of these sections, the intermediate passageway. (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 103.) The disclaimer does not even me second funnel sections. (See id.) Further, although the disclaimer does mention cylindrical s passageway. (See id.) That statement is at best ambiguous about the importance of the cylindrical sections and does not constitute a clear and unm of claim scope. See Purdue Pharma, 438 F.3d at 1136; Omega, 334 F.3d at 1323-24.

The five section structure that Defendant argues for is only contained in the specification as a preferred embodiment of the in

ll. 12-57. The specification even expressly uses the term preferred embodiment. Id. import limitations from the specification, in particular preferred embodiments, into the claims. See Phillips embodiment described in the specification does not change the Court's analysis because "'even where a patent describes only a s read restrictively unless the patentee has demonstrated a clear intention to limit the claim scope using words or expressions o Biosciences Corp v. Nutrinova, Inc., 579 F.3d 1363, 1381 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (quoting Innova/Pure Water claim scope to Defendant's five section structure. To the contrary, the specification states that it is a preferred embodiment Additional modifications and improvements of the present invention may also be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. combination of parts and steps described and illustrated herein is intended to represent only certain embodiments of the presen intended to serve as limitations of alternative devices and methods within the spirit and scope of the invention.

'614 Patent col. 6 ll. 1-7. Accordingly, the Court declines to adopt a construction of the term "liquid flow path" that requir limitations other than the structural limitation of an intermediate passageway as disclaimed by the patentees during the prosec

NOTE 3:

The prosecution disclaimer previously mentioned in the last note clearly and unmistakably states that the reduction in pressure of the intermediate passageway. (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 103.) This is also supported by the specification, wh the problems of the prior art by having an intermediate passageway that causes the first fluid to "experience a slight decrease venturi design." '614 Patent, col. 2 ll. 31-34. In addition, the USPTO examiner in his reasons for allowance stated that the the intermediate passageway. (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 185.) Accordingly, the Court construes this claim to req occurs when the first fluid, here wine, enters the intermediate passageway.

NOTE 4:

Defendant's proposed construction seeks to import a limitation from the specification into the claim. The limitation of "at le connected to the intermediate passageway" is only found in the specification in describing a preferred embodiment of the invent col. 4 ll. 20-36. In construing the claims, the Court will not import limitations from preferred embodiments found in the spec

F.3d at 1323; see also Martek, 579 F.3d at 1381. Accordingly, the Court declines to adopt Defendant's proposed construction.

However, the Court disagrees with Plaintiffs' contention that the term "air intake" does not require any construction. (Doc. N is not a commonly understood phrase with a widely accepted meaning. See Phillips construction. CLAIM 18 (language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold

The method of claim 17 wherein decreasing the pressure of the wine occurs vertically above the air intake Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"decreasing pressure of the Construction Unnecessary a reduction in pressure of the wine wine" caused by flowing from the first cylindrical section into the {reducing the pressure of the intermediate passageway having a wine} ceiling with a greater diameter than the first cylindrical section immediately above

"air intake" Construction Unnecessary At least one sidearm passageway fluidly connected to the intermediate passageway section

{an opening through which air of the liquid flow path. enters}

NOTE 5:

"[C]laim terms are normally used consistently throughout the patent." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1314. Further, the parties agree given the same previous construction. (Doc. No. 110.)

CLAIM CONSTRUCTION CHART FOR PATENT 7,841,584 ("'584 Patent")

CLAIM 1

(language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold

An apparatus configured to aerate wine, the apparatus comprising:

a body providing a fluid flow path through the body such that wine can pass downward through the body;

the fluid flow path being defined by: a fluid-receiving portion configured to be open to and in fluid communication with the atmosphere to receive the wine as the wine is poured, the fluid-receiving portion

a reduced area portion disposed downstream from and in fluid communica portion defining a second cross-sectional area that is smaller than the first cross-sectional area of the fluid-receiving porti

an air inlet extending between the fluid flow path and a side of the body, fluidly coupling the atmosphere with the

an increased-area portion disposed in a vicinity of the air inlet, the increased-area portion greater than the second cross-sectional area.

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"fluid flow path" Construction Unnecessary a plurality of connected sections forming a sequential path or passageway for fluid to flow, said

{a sequential path or passageway sections consisting of a first through which a fluid is caused to funnel section, first cylindrical flow} section, an intermediate passageway, a second cylindrical section, anda second funnel section Note 6 below.]

First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

First cylindrical section: a generally straight, cylindrical passageway.

Intermediate passageway: a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said compartment being fluidly coupled to the first cylindrical section, the diameter of said compartment being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical section.

Second cylindrical section: a second generally straight

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

cylindrical passageway.

Second funnel section: a second funnel-type opening at the end of the fluid flow path allowing the fluid to exit the apparatus.

"fluid receiving portion" Construction Unnecessary First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

{a portion of the fluid flow path that receives fluid}

below.]

"reduced area portion" Construction Unnecessary First cylindrical section: a generally straight, cylindrical passageway. portion

{a second cross-sectional area that is smaller than the first cross-sectional area of the fluid-receiving portion}

below.]

"air inlet" Construction Unnecessary a side-arm passageway.

{an opening through which air enters}

below.]

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"increased area portion" Construction Unnecessary Intermediate passageway: a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said immediately above

{a third cross-sectional area that is compartment being fluidly coupled greater than the second to the first cylindrical section, the cross-sectional area} diameter of said compartment being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical section. Note 8 below.]

NOTE 6:

As stated previously, during the prosecution history of the '614 patent's application, there was a clear and unmistakable disav patentees with respect to the claim term "fluid flow path." (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 103-07.) Plaintiffs argue apply to the Court's construction of the '584 patent because its claims were not part of the application at the time the discla

"'[P]rosecution disclaimer may arise from disavowals made during the prosecution of ancestor patent applications.'" Omega 498 F.3d at 1314. "When multiple patents derive from the same initial application, the prosecution history regarding a claim l applies with equal force to subsequently issued patents that contain the same claim limitation." Elkay Mfg. Co. v. Ebco Mfg. Co. The '584 patent is a continuation of the application that issued as the '614 patent, (Doc. No. 117 at 4), and the '584 patent c flow path" that is contained in the '614 patent. Compare '584 Patent col. 6 ll. 22 with '614 Patent col. 6. ll. 41. In additi nearly identical to the '614 patent's specification, the Court's construction of the term "fluid flow path" is also supported b Patent col. 1 ll. 35-65, col. 2 ll. 25-48. Accordingly, the Court applies the prosecution disclaimer from the '614 patent's ap See Elkay, 192 F.3d at 980.

NOTE 7:

Defendant's proposed constructions of the terms "fluid-receiving portion," "reduced-area portion," and "air inlet" seek to impo specification into the claim. The limitations of a "first funnel section," a "first cylindrical section," and a "side-arm pass in describing a preferred embodiment of the invention. See '584 Patent col. 2 ll. 10-48, col. limitations from preferred embodiments found in the specification into the claims. See Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1323; see also Martek Court declines to adopt Defendant's proposed constructions.

However, the Court disagrees with Plaintiffs' contention that these terms do not require any construction. (Doc. No. 110 at 17 portion," "reduced-area portion," and "air inlet" are not commonly understood phrases with widely accepted meanings. See Phillips the Court adopts Plaintiff's alternative proposed constructions.

The prosecution disclaimer made by the patentees during the prosecution of the '614 patent's application clearly requires that "intermediate passageway." (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 103-07.) This conclusion is also supported by the language See '584 Patent col. 1 ll. 35-65, col. 2 ll. 25-48. In addition, the language of claim 1 and the specification show that this "in "increased-area portion" of claim 1. Compare id. col. 2 ll. 26-29 ("intermediate cylindrical passageway that is the first cylindrical section"); id. col. 2 ll. 45-46 ("sidearm passageways introducing one or more with id. col. 6 ll. 37-40 ("an increased-area portion disposed in a vicinity of the air inlet, the increased-area portion defining a th than the second cross-sectional area"). (language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold

The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the increased-area portion is configured and disposed such that air is drawn from the atmosphere through the air inlet into the fluid flow path as the wine passes through the fluid flow path .

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"increased area portion" Construction Unnecessary Intermediate passageway: a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said immediately above

{a third cross-sectional area that is compartment being fluidly coupled greater than the second to the first cylindrical section, the cross-sectional area} diameter of said compartment being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical patent. See Note 5 above.] section.

"configured and disposed Construction Unnecessary the flow of liquid from the first such that air is drawn from cylindrical section into the the atmosphere " intermediate passageway results in

{the arrangement of the a pressure differential (defined increased-area portion causes air to below). As a result of said be drawn in from the atmosphere} pressure differential, air is drawn immediately above from the atmosphere into the intermediate chamber Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"fluid flow path" Construction Unnecessary a plurality of connected sections forming a sequential path or passageway for fluid to flow, said

{a sequential path or passageway sections consisting of a first through which a fluid is caused to funnel section, first cylindrical flow} section, an intermediate passageway, a second cylindrical section, anda second funnel section. Note 6 above.]

First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

First cylindrical section: a generally straight, cylindrical passageway.

Intermediate passageway: a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said compartment being fluidly coupled to the first cylindrical section, the diameter of said compartment being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical section.

Second cylindrical section: a second generally straight Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

cylindrical passageway.

Second funnel section: a second funnel-type opening at the end of the fluid flow path allowing the fluid to exit the apparatus.

NOTE 9:

The prosecution disclaimer made by the patentees during the prosecution of the '614 patent's application states that the struct causes the first fluid, here wine, "to experience a decrease in pressure." (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 103.) The explains that this decreased pressure in the first fluid creates a vacuum that draws in the second fluid, here air. See

ll. 20-48.

CLAIM 11

(language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold

A method of aerating wine, the method comprising:

disposing a venturi apparatus higher than and in relation to a wine receptacle such that a fluid flow path disposed to direct wine exiting from the venturi apparatus into the receptacle;

pouring wine from a bottle, the wine flowing downward due to gravity, through an opening provided by the venturi apparatus expo to the atmosphere into a wine-receiving portion of the flow path, the wine being subject portion;

continuing to dispose the apparatus such that wine flows downward from the wine-receiving portion along the producing a pressure differential between the fluid flow path and the atmosphere in drawing air through the air intake due to the pressure differential;

mixing the wine with the air drawn through the air intake to form aerated wine;

and continuing to dispose the apparatus higher than and in relation to the receptacle such that the aerated wine flows from the into the receptacle.

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"venturi apparatus" tubular structure that is constricted an apparatus containing a plurality a fitting or tubular structure, in the middle and flared on both of sections defining a liquid flow ends path (as defined below) as well as at both ends an air inlet (as defined below)

also Note 1 above.]

"fluid flow path" Construction Unnecessary a plurality of connected sections forming a sequential path or passageway for fluid to flow, said

{a sequential path or passageway sections consisting of a first through which a fluid is caused to funnel section, first cylindrical flow} section, an intermediate passageway, a second cylindrical section, anda second funnel section. Note 6 above.]

First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

First cylindrical section: a generally straight, cylindrical passageway.

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

Intermediate passageway: a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said compartment being fluidly coupled to the first cylindrical section, the diameter of said compartment being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical section.

Second cylindrical section: a second generally straight cylindrical passageway.

Second funnel section: a second funnel-type opening at the end of the fluid flow path allowing the fluid to exit the apparatus.

"wine-receiving portion" Construction Unnecessary First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

{a portion of the fluid flow path that receives wine}

10 below.]

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"pressure differential" Construction Unnecessary a reduction in pressure of the liquid relative to the atmosphere as the liquid flows from the first

{a difference in pressure} cylindrical section (defined above) into the intermediate passageway (defined above) caused by the fact that the intermediate passageway has a substantially larger diameter than the diameter of the first cylindrical section.

NOTE 10:

Defendant's proposed construction seeks to import a limitation from the specification into the claim. The limitation of a "fir in the specification in describing a preferred embodiment of the invention. See '584 Patent col. 2 ll. 17-22, col. 3 ll. 64-col. will not import limitations from preferred embodiments found in the specification into the claims. See Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1323; see also Accordingly, the Court declines to adopt Defendant's proposed construction.

However, the Court disagrees with Plaintiffs' contention that the term "wine-receiving portion" does not require any constructi term "wine-receiving portion" is not a commonly understood phrase with a widely accepted meaning. See Phillips Plaintiff's alternative proposed construction.

NOTE 11:

The prosecution disclaimer made by the patentees during the prosecution of the '614 patent's application states that the struct causes the first fluid, here wine, "to experience a decrease in pressure." (Doc. Nos. 119-21, Allen Decl. Ex. A at 103.) The explains that this decreased pressure in the first fluid causes the pressure differential between it and the second fluid. See col. 4 ll. 20-48.

(language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold

An apparatus for facilitating the mixture of a liquid and a gas, the apparatus comprising:

a fluid receiving section configured to be open to and in fluid communication with the atmosphere to receive the liquid due to the liquid being poured, the fluid receiving section defining a narrowing passageway ;

an intermediate passageway fluidly coupled with the fluid receiving section to

an exit passageway fluidly coupled to the intermediate passageway, the intermediate passageway being located between the fluid receiving section and the exit passageway;

and at least one side passageway fluidly coupled to the intermediate passageway and configured to allow the gas to be drawn into the intermediate passageway to mix with the liquid;

wherein: the fluid receiving section, the intermediate passageway and the exit passageway are disposed to define a the poured liquid, and the fluid flow path between the fluid receiving section and the exit passageway causes the liquid passin therethrough to experience a decreased pressure to draw the gas through the at least one side passageway when the liquid passes therethrough at the decreased pressure.

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"a fluid receiving section" Construction Unnecessary First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

{a portion of the fluid flow path that receives fluid}

"defining a narrow Construction Unnecessary the first cylindrical section is passageway" narrower in diameter than the opening at the beginning of the {defining a passageway that first funnel section narrows}

12 below.]

"intermediate passageway" Construction Unnecessary a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said compartment being fluidly coupled immediately above

{a passageway between the fluid to the first cylindrical section, the receiving section and the exit diameter of said compartment passageway} being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical section patent. See Note 5 above.]

"exit passageway" Construction Unnecessary a portion of the fluid flow path consisting, sequentially of the apparatus "second cylindrical section" and

{passageway through which the the "second funnel section," both fluid exits the apparatus} of which are defined above.

12 below.]

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"side passageway" Construction Unnecessary At least one sidearm passageway side passageway fluidly connected to the intermediate passageway section of the liquid flow path.

12 below.]

"fluid flow path" Construction Unnecessary a plurality of connected sections forming a sequential path or passageway for fluid to flow, said

{a sequential path or passageway sections consisting of a first through which a fluid is caused to funnel section, first cylindrical flow} section, an intermediate passageway, a second cylindrical section, anda second funnel Note 6 above.] section.

First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

First cylindrical section: a generally straight, cylindrical passageway.

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

Intermediate passageway: a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said compartment being fluidly coupled to the first cylindrical section, the diameter of said compartment being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical section.

Second cylindrical section: a second generally straight cylindrical passageway.

Second funnel section: a second funnel-type opening at the end of the fluid flow path allowing the fluid to exit the apparatus.

"decreased pressure" Construction Unnecessary a reduction in pressure of the liquid relative to the atmosphere as the liquid flows from the first previous section

{reduced pressure} cylindrical section (defined above) into the intermediate passageway (defined above) caused by the fact that the intermediate passageway has a substantially larger diameter than Note 6 above.] the diameter of the first cylindrical section

NOTE 12:

Defendant's proposed constructions seek to import limitations from the specification into the claim. The limitations of a "fir section," a "second cylindrical section," a "second funnel section," and a "sidearm passage" can only be found in the specifica of the invention. See '584 Patent col. 2 ll. 10-55, col. 3 ll. 49-col. 5 ll. 18. In construing the claims, the Court will not import limitations fr found in the specification into the claims. See Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1323; see also Martek, 579 F.3d at 1381. Accord proposed constructions.

However, the Court disagrees with Plaintiffs' contention that the term "exit passageway" does not require any construction. (D "exit passageway" is a not commonly understood phrase with a widely accepted meaning. See Phillips alternative proposed constructions.

CLAIM 16

(language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold The apparatus of claim 15 wherein an aperture between the fluid receiving section and the intermediate passageway is circular a diameter of the intermediate passageway is greater than a diameter of the aperture .

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"a diameter of the Construction Unnecessary the diameter of the intermediate intermediate passageway is passageway is substantially greater greater than a diameter of than the diameter of the first the aperture" cylindrical section

13 below.]

NOTE 13:

Defendant's proposed construction seeks to import limitations from the specification into the claim. The limitation of the dia than the aperture and the limitation of a "first cylindrical section" are only found in the specification in describing a prefe Patent col. 2 ll. 22-24, col. 4 ll. 5-19, col. 4 ll. 25. In construing the claims, the Court will not import limitations from into the claims. See Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1323; see also Martek, 579 F.3d at 1381. Accordingly, the Court declines

CLAIM 1 7

(language for which the parties submitted proposed construction in bold

The apparatus of claim 12 further comprising a first cylindrical section fluidly coupling the intermediate passageway .

Claim Language Plaintiffs Area 55/Vinturi's Defendant Franmara's Court's Construction

Construction Construction

"first cylindrical section" Construction Unnecessary a generally straight, cylindrical first cylindrical section passageway necessary. See

"fluid receiving section" Construction Unnecessary First funnel section: a funnel-type opening at the beginning of the fluid flow path.

{a portion of the fluid flow path that receives fluid}

'584 patent. See note 5 above.]

"intermediate passageway" Construction Unnecessary a compartment having a ceiling, floor and midsection, said diameter greater than the compartment being fluidly above

{a passageway between the fluid coupled to the first cylindrical receiving section and the exit section, the diameter of said passageway} compartment being substantially larger than the diameter than the first cylindrical section '584 patent. See note 5 above.]

20110506

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