March 7, 2017

Complaints About Claim Construction Irrelevant Without a Showing of How it Would Make a Difference

By Bryan K. Wheelock, Principal

In Comcast IP Holdings I LLC v. Sprint Communications Company LP, [2015-1992] (March 7, 2017) the Federal Circuit affirmed a $7.5 million dollar award for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,170,008, 7,012,916 and 8,204,046 directed to the use of computer network technology to facilitate a telephone call.

Sprint complained about the construction of “switched telecommunication system” but the Federal Circuit failed to show how is construction would result in a different result.  Moreover, the Federal Circuit found that the claim language and the specification did not support Sprint’s proposed construction.

Sprint also complained that there was insufficient evidence that its met the “call destination” and “identifier of a second party” limitations of the claims, which were given their plain and ordinary meaning because neither party requested a claim construction.  The Federal Circuit found that Sprint was essentially proffering a claim construction argument in the guise of a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence of infringement.”

Finally, Sprint complained about the construction of “parsing,” arguing that the district court failed to apply disclaimers made by the patent owner during prosecution, but the Federal Circuit again found that Sprint failed to show how this affected the outcome.  The Federal Circuit ultimately agreed with the district court’s construction, however.

The Federal Circuit also affirmed the award of prejudgment interest from the date of the earliest patent, finding that would be the date of negotiation of the undifferentiated reasonable royalty.