United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE: CLAIM CONSTRUCTION RE: DKT. NO. 51
ILLSTON United States District Judge.
GoPro, Inc. (“GoPro”) filed this trademark and
copyright infringement suit on April 13, 2016. Compl. (Dkt.
No. 1). Defendant 360Heros, Inc. (“360Heros”)
filed a counterclaim for patent infringement, asserting that
GoPro directly or indirectly infringes U.S. Patent No. 9,
152, 019 (the “'019 patent”). Dkt. No. 25.
'019 patent, entitled “360 Degree Camera Mount and
Related Photographic and Video System, ” was issued on
October 6, 2015 to 360 Heros, Inc. The patent teaches a
portable mounting assembly for multiple cameras, which
enables a user to attach cameras into a spherical, cubical,
or other orientation. See '019 patent, Abstract.
The invention enables users to capture images that they can
stitch together to create, for example, a 360 degree
composite image or a 360 degree by 180 degree spherical
image. See Id. The '019 patent purportedly
improves upon prior art by, among other things, enabling
users to attach and remove cameras without requiring partial
camera disassembly or the use of tools, and by permitting
cameras to be arranged in adjustable orientations. See
Id. at 2:38-58.
1, 2017, the Court held a Markman hearing regarding
disputed claim terms in the '019 patent. Having
considered the arguments of counsel and the papers submitted,
the Court construes the disputed claim terms as discussed
construction is a matter of law. Markman v. Westview
Instr., Inc., 517 U.S. 370, 372 (1996). Terms contained
in claims are “generally given their ordinary and
customary meaning.” Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415
F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005). “[T]he ordinary and
customary meaning of a claim term 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. In determining the proper construction of a claim, a
court begins with the intrinsic evidence of record,
consisting of the claim language, the patent specification,
and, if in evidence, the prosecution history. Id. at
1313; see also Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic,
Inc., 90 F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1996). “The
appropriate starting point . . . is always with the language
of the asserted claim itself.” Comark
Communications, Inc. v. Harris Corp., 156 F.3d 1182,
1186 (Fed. Cir. 1998); see also Abtox, Inc. v. Exitron
Corp., 122 F.3d 1019, 1023 (Fed. Cir. 1997).
although claims speak to those skilled in the art, claim
terms are construed in light of their ordinary and accustomed
meaning, unless examination of the specification, prosecution
history, and other claims indicates that the inventor
intended otherwise. See Electro Medical Systems, S.A. v.
Cooper Life Sciences, Inc., 34 F.3d 1048, 1053 (Fed.
Cir. 1994). The written description can provide guidance as
to the meaning of the claims, thereby dictating the manner in
which the claims are to be construed, even if the guidance is
not provided in explicit definitional format. SciMed Life
Systems, Inc. v. Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.,
242 F.3d 1337, 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2001). In other words, the
specification may define claim terms “by
implication” such that the meaning may be “found
in or ascertained by a reading of the patent
documents.” Vitronics, 90 F.3d at 1582, 1584
addition, the claims must be read in view of the
specification. Markman v. Westview Instr., Inc., 52
F.3d 967, 979 (Fed. Cir. 1995), aff'd, 517 U.S.
370 (1996). Although claims are interpreted in light of the
specification, this “does not mean that everything
expressed in the specification must be read into all the
claims.” Raytheon Co. v. Roper Corp., 724 F.2d
951, 957 (Fed. Cir. 1983). For instance, limitations from a
preferred embodiment described in the specification generally
should not be read into the claim language. See
Comark, 156 F.3d at 1187. However, it is a fundamental
rule that “claims must be construed so as to be
consistent with the specification.” Phillips,
415 F.3d at 1316 (citing Merck & Co., Inc. v. Teva
Pharms. USA, Inc., 347 F.3d 1367, 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2003).
Therefore, if the specification reveals an intentional
disclaimer or disavowal of claim scope, the claims must be
read consistently with that limitation. Id.
the Court may consider the prosecution history of the patent,
if in evidence. Markman, 52 F.3d at 980. The
prosecution history limits the interpretation of claim terms
so as to exclude any interpretation that was disclaimed
during prosecution. See Southwall Technologies, Inc. v.
Cardinal IG Co., 54 F.3d 1570, 1576 (Fed. Cir. 1995). In
most situations, analysis of this intrinsic evidence alone
will resolve claim construction disputes. See
Vitronics, 90 F.3d at 1583.
should not rely on extrinsic evidence in claim construction
to contradict the meaning of claims discernable from
examination of the claims, the written description, and the
prosecution history. See Pitney Bowes, Inc. v.
Hewlett-Packard Co., 182 F.3d 1298, 1308 (Fed. Cir.
1999) (citing Vitronics, 90 F.3d at 1583). However,
it is entirely appropriate “for a court to consult
trustworthy extrinsic evidence to ensure that the claim
construction it is tending to from the patent file is not
inconsistent with clearly expressed, plainly apposite, and
widely held understandings in the pertinent technical
field.” Id. Extrinsic evidence “consists
of all evidence external to the patent and prosecution
history, including expert and inventor testimony,
dictionaries, and learned treatises.”
Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317. All extrinsic evidence
should be evaluated in light of the intrinsic evidence.
Id. at 1319.
for purposes of the Court's Markman analysis,
the '019 patent claims the following:
Claim 1. A holding assembly configured to releasably retain a
plurality of photographic cameras in a predetermined
orientation, said holding assembly comprising:
a support including a support body having a
plurality of support arms extending outwardly and
radially from the support body; and
each of the support arms including a
receptacle disposed thereon and in which a plurality
of the receptacles are disposed radially about the
exterior of said support body, each of said
receptacles defining an open-ended
enclosure having at least one latching feature
for enabling a photographic camera to be releasably retained
within the defined enclosure wherein the receptacles
are oriented about said support such that each
retained camera provides an overlapping field of view, the
cameras being disposed on the support to create
either a 360 degree by 180 degree full spherical composite
image or a 360 degree composite image.
Claim 15. A method for manufacture of a holding assembly that
enables capture of 360 degree photographic or video images of
a scene of interest, said method comprising:
providing a support for said holding assembly
comprising a center support body having a plurality
of outwardly extending support arms, including a
corresponding plurality of receptacles arranged on
each extending support arm, each said
receptacle defining an open-ended enclosure
that is sized for releasably receiving at least one
photographic camera body and in which each said
receptacle is disposed in a specific angular or
spherical orientation relative to each other to enable a 360
degree by 180 degree full spherical composite image or a 360
degree composite image to be created by the retained
photographic cameras; and
configuring each receptacle with a latching
feature to enable a photographic camera body to be
releasably secured within the support ...