Judge Albright found five claim terms indefinite in this order + chart.
Judge Payne found a claim term indefinite because it lacks antecedent basis in the claim. “While definiteness does not require absolute certainty, it does require reasonable certainty around the boundaries of the term. The Court finds that one of skill in the art would not be able to reasonably determine what is meant by the phrase “the definition of the plan.””
Judge Albright entered a final judgment in favor of the Samsung defendants, noting that in his claim construction order he found a claim term in the sole independent claim of the asserted patent invalid.
Judge Albright’s order construed two terms. It found that “gliding” should have its plain and ordinary meaning, which didn’t include “dragging, flicking, or a drag and drop operation”. It held the other term, – “the representation consists of only one option for activating the function” – indefinite.
What does “the additional information” mean? The court agreed with the parties that the term lacked antecedent basis, but didn’t find that dispositive. The term was used elsewhere in the patents, but was paired with examples in those locations. It appeared that its inclusion in this claim was simply an improper insertion – but noting that it is not the court’s job to rewrite or proofread claim language, the court concluded that the term was indefinite.
Judge Gilstrap found one claim indefinite based on lack of antecedent basis, but that another had not been shown to be so by clear and convincing evidence.
There is a lot going on in this 51 page claim construction order resolving disputes across the 14 asserted patents. Some practitioners might find instructive the court’s conclusion that the preamble is limiting, but others might find more interesting the court’s conclusion that a term was indefinite because it was subjective, and the intrinsic record provided no objective standard by which a skilled artisan determine what is and is not a “natural sounding voice”.
The court construed numerous claims from seven patents. Of interest is the substantive (and repetitive in this case) analysis of the defendant’s claims of indefiniteness, none of which the Court found persuasive, and frequently expressly rejected.
The use of technical advisers on claim construction issues dates back almost 20 years in Texas patent courts, but a recent trend in the WDTX to opt for bringing in the same advisers as special masters is emerging.
This 42 page order construes 12 claim terms, and contains useful insight into relevant standards as identified by the court.