United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
[DOC. NOS. 41, 49, 46.]
MARILYN L. HUFF, District Judge.
February 24, 2017, Defendants ZTE (USA), Inc.,  HTC,
Huawei,  each filed a motion pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) for judgment on the pleadings.
(16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 41; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No. 49;
16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 46.) On March 13, 2017, Plaintiff
InfoGation Corp. filed its oppositions to Defendants'
motions. (16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 45; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No. 55;
16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 50.) On March 20, 2017, Defendants filed
their replies. (16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 47; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No.
57; 16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 53.)
Court held a hearing on the matter on March 27, 2017. John P.
Moy and Heather W. Schallhorn appeared for InfoGation. Harold
H. Davis appeared for ZTE. Fred I. Williams appeared for HTC.
David S. Almeling, Mark Liang, and Jason W. Wolff appeared
for Huawai. For the reasons below, the Court denies
Defendants' motions for judgment on the pleadings.
27, 2016, Plaintiff InfoGation Corp. filed three separate
complaints for patent infringement against Defendants ZTE,
HTC, and Huawei, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,
292, 743. (16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 1; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No. 1;
16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 1.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants' smartphones, which run the Android operating
system and can connect to a Google Maps navigation server
through a wireless carrier's network data, infringe,
either literally or through the doctrine of equivalents,
claim 15 of the '743 patent. (Id.)
'743 patent is entitled “Mobile Navigation
System” and “relates generally to [a] mobile
navigation system and apparatus, and more particularly to a
distributed navigation system having a wireless connection to
a server for calculating optimal routes using real-time
data.” U.S. Patent No. 6, 292, 743, at 1:5-8. In
describing the prior art, the '743 patent explains that,
at the time of the invention, “navigation systems, in
which automobiles are equipped with a navigational computer
that includes a display screen, an input means such as a
keypad or a remote control, and a storage means such as a
CD” had become quite popular. Id. at 1:10-14.
The '743 patent explains that the problem with these
devices is that they are “stand-alone devices that rely
completely on data stored on the local storage device for
geographical and other information. Thus, the capacity of the
storage device becomes a limiting factor as to how much
information is available to users. In addition, users must
update their mapping databases frequently to stay
current.” Id. at 1:27-32.
light of these problems, the '743 patent explains that it
is desirable to have an online navigation system that can
provide current information to the user - including real-time
information such as traffic, weather, and road conditions -
without the need for the system to update its local databases
whenever changes occur. '743 Patent at 1:36-41. The
'743 patent acknowledges that there are some prior art
navigation systems, such as Toyota's MONET system, that
are able to connect to online servers and provide real-time
information to the user. Id. at 1:46-61. But the
'743 patent notes that there are several problems with
those real-time navigation systems.
'743 patent explains the problems with the real-time
navigation systems at the time of the invention as follows:
In these current systems, all geographical data transmitted
by the server is in a propriety [sic] format. That
is, downloaded information used to describe geographical
data, such as point-of-interest addresses and detailed map
data, includes data points, indices and the like that are
specific to the particular mapping database used on the
Accordingly, the client navigation system must have a
particular pre-defined mapping database installed in order to
work with the server. In some cases, the mapping database
used by the client and server must be identical. If there is
a mismatch between the expected mapping database and the
actual mapping database used on the client, the client cannot
properly interpret the geographical data downloaded from the
server and the system will fail to operate.
Accordingly, customers using these current systems must
obtain the latest version of the mapping database software
available. This presents a major burden for customers and
manufacturers alike due to the high frequency in which these
databases must be updated.
In addition, the data downloaded by the client generally
requires high bandwidth communication channels due the shear
volume of data transmitted by these current systems. Such
high bandwidth communication channels are expensive and may
not be readily available in all areas. It would be desirable
to develop a system that requires lower bandwidth
communication channels than that required by these current
Another problem with the current systems outlined above is
that the client must include sophisticated algorithms for
calculating optimal routes. In addition, these
route-calculating algorithms in the client must be updated in
accordance with current services and options available on the
server. . . .
Another problem with the current systems is that the
proprietary server cannot be used with navigation systems and
mapping databases provided by other manufacturers.
'743 Patent at 1:62-2:37.
'743 patent seeks to remedy these problems in the prior
art systems by using a generic natural language description
to specify the optimal routing information that is generated
at the server and then transmitted from the server to the
client. '743 Patent at 3:21-23. The specification of the
'743 patent describes “a client navigation
system” as follows:
The client navigation system establishes a wireless
connection to the server via cellular telephone technology or
the like. Once connected, the client requests a specific
route by uploading start and stop specifications to the
server. The server independently calculates an optimal route
for the user based on real-time and current data available to
the server, as well as user preferences or the like.
The routing information is formatted using a natural language
specification in accordance with each specific embodiment ...