Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. et al v. A10 Networks, Inc. et al

Filing 632

FURTHER CLAIM CONSTRUCTION ORDER re 620 Brief, filed by A10 Networks, Inc. Signed by Judge Paul S. Grewal on July 5, 2012. (psglc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/5/2012)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 SAN JOSE DIVISION 11 12 13 14 15 16 BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, ) INC., et al., ) ) Plaintiffs, ) v. ) ) A10 NETWORKS, INC., et al., ) ) Defendants. ) ) Case No.: 10-CV-03428-PSG FURTHER CLAIM CONSTRUCTION ORDER (Re: Docket No. 620) 17 In this patent infringement suit, Defendant A10 Networks, Inc. (“A10”) filed a motion for 18 leave to seek construction of two additional claim terms beyond those previously construed by the 19 court pursuant to Patent L.R. 4-3(c). At the status conference held after reassignment of this case 20 to the undersigned by Judge Koh with the consent of the parties, the court granted A10’s request 21 for leave. 1 Convinced that it was obligated to provide constructions under the Federal Circuit's 22 decision in O2 Micro, 2 the court informed the parties that it would proceed to construe the two 23 terms in dispute. Both A10 and Plaintiffs Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (“Brocade”) and 24 Foundry Networks, LLC (“Foundry”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) have now filed briefs presenting 25 arguments on the two terms. After considering the arguments presented, the court adopts the 26 following constructions: 27 1 28 2 See July 3, 2012 Hearing Transcript (“Hrg. Tr.”) at 33. 02 Micro Intern. Ltd. v. Beyond Innovation Tech. Co., 521 F.23d 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2008) 1 Case No.: C 10-03428 PSG ORDER 1 3 TERM “time for exchanging at least one message/[messages] between the [host server] site switch and a [first] client machine” 4 “virtual switch” 2 5 CONSTRUCTION Plain and ordinary meaning “system of switches identified by an address that provides redundant network paths while preventing network loops” Seven years after the Federal Circuit's seminal Phillips decision, 3 the cannons of claim 6 construction are now well-known even if not perfectly understood by parties and courts alike. 7 Recognizing the many cases since Phillips that have summarized its holding and expounded upon 8 its teachings, and in the interest of rendering a prompt decision to guide the parties as trial rapidly 9 approaches, the court will cite to the claim construction cannons only as necessary to illuminate its United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 reasoning and conclusions. In that same interest, the court will not endeavor to provide a lengthy 11 background of the patents, their underlying technology, and this litigation, and will instead 12 presume the reader's familiarity with the discussion of these topics in Judge Koh's previous claim 13 construction order. 4 14 With respect to the “time for exchanging” term, A10 urges a construction that would limit 15 the time to the “interval between the time the host server site switch receives a message from a 16 program on a client device and the time the host server site switch receives an associated 17 acknowledge message sent by the program.” As support for this construction, A10 notes that the 18 specification associates the term with round-trip time (“RTT”) and further teaches that “[t]o 19 provide an RTT under the present invention described above, ... a site switch... monitors the RTT 20 time – the time difference between receiving a TCP SYN and a TCP ACK for the TCP connection 21 – and records it in an entry of the cache database.” 5 A10 is correct that “[w]hen a patent thus 22 describes the features of the ‘present invention’ as a whole, this description limits the scope of the 23 invention.” 6 But, as Brocade responds, the use of the “present invention” in the specification may 24 3 Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005). 4 See Docket No. 434. 5 Docket No. 620, Ex. 1 at 6:24-33. 6 Verizon Servs. Corp. v. Vonage Holdings Corp., 503 F.2d 1295, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2007). 25 26 27 28 2 Case No.: C 10-03428 PSG ORDER 1 also describe particular embodiments that are compatible with the invention, even if not compelled 2 by it. 7 That appears to be the case here. The language of the term itself confirms that the exchange 3 at issue may be initiated by either the host server or the client, a scenario inconsistent with A10's 4 proposed construction and in conflict with the Federal Circuit's teaching that the analytical focus of 5 any construction must focus on claim language. 8 In addition, A10’s proposed construction is 6 described as part of a flow diagram in a figure – Figure 2 – specifically identified as but one 7 embodiment of the invention. 9 Under these circumstances, the court is compelled to give the claim 8 term its full range of plain and ordinary meaning. 9 With respect to the “virtual switch” term, A10 acknowledges that the term appears in a United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 preamble, but urges that it should nevertheless be recognized as a limitation and construed because 11 the term “breathes life and meaning in to the claims and, hence, is a necessary limitation to 12 them.” 10 A10 points out that the language of the claim in which the term appears (Claim 1 of the 13 '195 patent) demands configuration of the switch so that it can act in concert with the system of 14 switches that comprise the “virtual switch.” This notion is emphasized by the use of the definite 15 article “the” before a reference to the system of switches in the body of the claim, referring to its 16 antecedent basis in the preamble. The court agrees with A10 that the effect is to provide “a 17 fundamental characteristic of the claim invention” that acts as a limitation on claim scope. 11 The 18 court also agrees with A10 that the requirements that the virtual switch be identified by an 19 addressed and be loop-free do not reflect preferred embodiments of the invention but rather the 20 claimed invention itself. The specification not only teaches these features, 12 but emphasizes that 21 the features are “in accordance with the present invention” and in sections providing a 22 7 23 See Rambus, Inc. v. Infineon Techs. AG, 318 F.3d 1081, 1094-95 (Fed. Cir. 2003). 8 24 See Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration Sys., Inc., 381 F.3d 111, 1116 (Fed. Cir. 2004); Brookhill-Wilk 1, LLC v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., 334 F.3d 1294 (Fed. Cir. 2003). 25 9 26 10 Loctite Corp. v. Ultraseal Ltd., 781 F.2d 861, 866 (Fed. Cir. 1985). 27 11 Vizio, Inc. v. Int'l Trade Comm'n, 605 F.3d 1330, 1340-41 (Fed. Cir. 2010). 28 12 See Docket No. 620, Ex. 1 at 4:15, 67-5:8. See Docket No. 620, Ex. 3 at 2:40-51; 3:41-49; 2:64-3:17; 9:33-41. 3 Case No.: C 10-03428 PSG ORDER 1 “Background” and “Brief Summary of the Invention” that are specifically distinguished from a 2 later section providing a “Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments.” This teaches more 3 than a compatible feature, as discussed above regarding the “time for exchanging” term. In the 4 context of the specification of the whole, and in particular the claim language itself, it teaches a 5 feature of the invention that is required. 13 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. 7 Dated: 8 7/5/2012 _________________________________ PAUL S. GREWAL United States Magistrate Judge 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 13 Cf. Netcraft Corp v. eBay, Inc., 549 F.3d 1394, 1398 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (“we agree with the district court that the . . . specification’s repeated use of the phrase ‘the present invention’ describes the invention as a whole”); Honeywell Int’l, Inc. v. ITT Indus., Inc., 452 F.3d 1312, 1318 (Fed. Cir. 2006 (agreeing with the district court’s construction that the disputed term should be consistent with “the present invention”). 4 Case No.: C 10-03428 PSG ORDER

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?