United States District Court, S.D. California
CLAIM CONSTRUCTION ORDER
MARILYN L. HUFF, District Judge.
above three actions, Plaintiff InfoGation Corp. asserts
claims of patent infringement against Defendants ZTE (USA),
Inc.,  HTC,  and Huawei,  alleging infringement of
claim 15 of U.S. Patent No. 6, 292, 743 (“the '743
patent”). (16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 1; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No.
2; 16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 3.) On March 10, 2017, the parties
filed their joint claim construction and prehearing
statement, chart, and worksheet, identifying the disputed
claim terms from the '743 patent. (16-cv-1901-Doc. Nos.
42-44; 16-cv-1902-Doc. Nos. 52-54; 16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 49.)
On April 7, 2017, the parties each filed an opening claim
construction brief. (16-cv-1901-Doc. Nos. 58-59;
16-cv-1902-Doc. Nos. 68-69; 16-cv-1903-Doc. Nos. 64-65.) On
April 21, 2017, the parties each filed a responsive claim
construction brief. (16-cv-1901-Doc. Nos. 61-62;
16-cv-1902-Doc. Nos. 71-72; 16-cv-1903-Doc. Nos. 67-68.) On
April 26, 2017, the parties filed an amended joint claim
construction and prehearing statement, chart, and worksheet.
(16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 63; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No. 73;
16-cv-1903-Doc. Nos. 69.) On May 4, 2017, the Court issued a
tentative claim construction order.
Court held a claim construction hearing on May 5, 2017. John
P. Moy and Michael L. Kirby appeared for InfoGation. Harold
H. Davis, Jr. appeared for ZTE. Todd E. Landis appeared for
HTC. David S. Almeling and Darin Snyder appeared for Huawai.
After considering the parties' briefs, the parties'
arguments at the hearing, and all relevant information, the
Court construes the disputed terms from the patent-in-suit.
27, 2016, Plaintiff InfoGation Corp. filed three separate
complaints for patent infringement against Defendants ZTE,
HTC, and Huawei, alleging infringement of the '743
patent. (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 of
the present invention.
Id. at 3:27-36.
'743 patent explains that by having the route data
generated only at the server, it allows the client devices to
be much less complex and not require software changes when
the server provides new information. '743 Patent at
2:53-3:10. The '743 patent further explains that by using
a generic natural language description to specify the optimal
routing information, the optimal routing data from the server
“can be interpreted by a variety of clients with
minimal software additions.” Id. at 3:11-14.
Further, the patent explains that the natural language
routing descriptions can be highly compressed allowing the
information to travel on lower bandwidth communication
channels. Id. at 3:14-20.
claim 15 of the '743 patent, the only claim asserted by
Plaintiff in the present actions (16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 58 at
mobile navigation system comprising:
a navigation computer; a wireless transceiver coupled to said
navigation computer for connecting with a navigation server,
said navigation server for calculating optimal routes based
on real-time information, said optimal routes being formatted
using a non-proprietary, natural language description; a
mapping database coupled to said navigation computer for
reconstructing said optimal route from said non-proprietary,
natural language description; and a display screen coupled to
said navigation computer for displaying said optimal route
using said mapping database.
Id. at 17:9-23.
November 1, 2016, Defendants each filed an answer and
counterclaims to Plaintiff's complaint. (16-cv-1901-Doc.
No. 22; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No. 21; 16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 22.) On
November 22, 2016, the Court issued a scheduling order for
the three actions setting forth all dates leading up to trial
and scheduling a trial date of December 5, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.
(16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 31; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No. 39;
16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 31.) On March 27, 2017, the Court denied
Defendants' motions for judgment on the pleadings.
(16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 52; 16-cv-1902-Doc. No. 63;
16-cv-1903-Doc. No. 59.) By the present claim construction
briefs, the parties request that the Court construe four
disputed claim terms from the '743 patent.
(16-cv-1901-Doc. No. 58, 59.)
Legal Standards for Claim Construction
construction is an issue of law for the court to decide.
Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct.
831, 838 (2015); Markman v. Westview Instr., Inc.,
517 U.S. 370, 372 (1996). Although claim construction is
ultimately a question of law, “subsidiary factfinding
is sometimes necessary.” Teva, 135 S.Ct. at
purpose of claim construction is to ‘determin[e] the
meaning and scope of the patent claims asserted to be
infringed.'” O2 Micro Int'l Ltd. v. Beyond
Innovation Tech. Co., 521 F.3d 1351, 1360 (Fed. Cir.
2008). “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).
terms “‘are generally given their ordinary and
customary meaning[, ]'” which “is the meaning
that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the
art in question at the time of the invention.”
Id. at 1312-13. “In some cases, the ordinary
meaning of claim language as understood by a [PHOSITA] may be
readily apparent even to lay judges, and claim construction
in such cases involves little more than the application of
the widely accepted meaning of commonly understood
words.” Id. at 1314. “However, in many
cases, the meaning of a claim term as understood by persons
of skill in the art is not readily apparent.” O2
Micro, 521 F.3d at 1360. If the meaning of the term is
not readily apparent, the court must look to “those
sources available to the public that show what a person of
skill in the art would have understood disputed claim
language to mean, ” including intrinsic and extrinsic
evidence. See Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1314. A court
should begin with the intrinsic record, which consists of the
language of the claims, the patent specification, and, if in
evidence, the prosecution history of the asserted patent.
Id.; see also Vederi, LLC v. Google, Inc.,
744 F.3d 1376, 1382 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (“In construing
claims, this court relies primarily on the claim language,
the specification, and the prosecution history.”).
determining the proper construction of a claim, a court
should first look to the language of the claims. See
Vitronics, 90 F.3d at 1582; see also Comark
Commc'ns v. Harris Corp., 156 F.3d 1182, 1186 (Fed.
Cir. 1998) (“The appropriate starting point . . . is
always with the language of the asserted claim
itself.”). The context in which a disputed term is used
in the asserted claims may provide substantial guidance as to
the meaning of the term. See Phillips, 415 F.3d at
1314. In addition, the context in which the disputed term is
used in other claims, both asserted and unasserted, may
provide guidance because “the usage of a term in one
claim can often illuminate the meaning of the same term in
other claims.” Id. Furthermore, a disputed
term should be construed “consistently with its
appearance in other places in the same claim or in other
claims of the same patent.” Rexnord Corp. v.
Laitram Corp., 274 F.3d 1336, 1342 (Fed. Cir. 2001);
accord Microprocessor Enhancement Corp. v. Texas
Instruments Inc., 520 F.3d 1367, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2008);
see also Paragon Sols., LLC v. Timex Corp., 566 F.3d
1075, 1087 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (“We apply a presumption
that the same terms appearing in different portions of the
claims should be given the same meaning.” (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Moreover, “‘[a] claim
construction that gives meaning to all the terms of the claim
is preferred over one that does not do so.'”
Vederi, 744 F.3d 1383.
must also read claims “in view of the specification, of
which they are a part.” Markman, 52 F.3d at
979; see 35 U.S.C. § 112(b) (“The
specification shall conclude with one or more claims
particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject
matter which the inventor or a joint inventor regards as the
invention.”). “‘Apart from the claim
language itself, the specification is the single best guide
to the meaning of a claim term.'” Vederi,
744 F.3d at 1382. For example, “a claim construction
that excludes [a] preferred embodiment [described in the
specification] ‘is rarely, ...