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Summary judgment on the issue of infringement is proper when no reasonable jury could find that every limitation recited in a properly construed claim either is or is not found in the accused device either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. Judges may rely on dictionary definitions when construing patent claims, so long as the dictionary definition does not contradict any definition found in or ascertained by a reading of the patent documents. Indeed, heavy reliance on the dictionary divorced from the intrinsic evidence risks transforming the meaning of the claim term to the artisan into the meaning of the term in the abstract, out of its particular context, which is the specification. The risk of systematic overbreadth is greatly reduced if the court instead focuses at the outset on how the patentee used the claim term in the claims, specification, and prosecution history, rather than starting with a broad definition and whittling it down. Indeed, the specification is the single best guide to the meaning of a disputed term and it acts as a dictionary when it expressly defines terms used in the claims or when it defines terms by implication.
Plaintiff Allvoice Developments US LLC filed this patent infringement action alleging that defendant Microsoft Corp infringed several claims of the '273 Patent. The '273 Patent described an invention that connects a speech-recognition engine with a user's text-processing application, via an interface application program (IAP). The IAP allowed users to write by speaking into a microphone rather than typing on a keyboard, and the words are directly inserted into an end user's preferred application. The patent sets out to improve what it identifies as a major disadvantage of the prior art systems: that was, cutting and pasting the text from the dictation window eliminated the connection between the speech recording and the text, meaning that if the user made corrections in the Word document, the speech-recognition engine could not incorporate those corrections to improve its speech-recognition models. As a solution to this problem, the patent added an IAP to control the flow of text into the text processing application, to control the flow of updating information from the text processing application to the speech recognition application and for maintaining links between the text and the audio data. The IAP created and stored link data which allowed the user to play back the stored audio data corresponding to the words in the text processing application, and any corrections made in the text processing application can be incorporated by the speech-recognition engine to update and improve accuracy. Plaintiff argued that defendant has made, used and sold the Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 operating systems, which include software referred to as SAPI Server and Text Services Framework that violate the '273 Patent. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment for non-infringement arguing that the accused products do not contain audio identifiers or link data as construed by the court. Defendant also argued that the accused products do not perform the selectively disabling step or store an audio message received from a speech recognition engine, as required by Claims 56 and 57. Finally, defendant argued that the accused products did not infringe under the doctrine of equivalents and that it did not indirectly infringe the '273 patent. Plaintiff opposed the motion.
Should the defendant’s motion for summary judgment for non-infringement be granted?
The court, in this patent infringement action, construed the term "file" to mean "a collection of related records treated as a unit stored on a disk. Thus, plaintiff's infringement contentions based on audio data being stored in "memory" must be dismissed since audio data in memory or RAM was not stored in a "file". Moreover, the court held that the requirements of Fed. R. Evid. 702 and Daubert were met where the expert had significant technical and specialized knowledge that would assist a trier of fact to understand the evidence and the testimony was the product of reliable principles and methods and he had applied those principles to the facts of this case. However, the court held that plaintiff could not demonstrate that the accused products contained link data. Therefore, defendant's motion was granted.