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Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc. v. Honeywell International Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

December 20, 2017

INTELLICHECK MOBILISA, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC., Defendant.

          CLAIM CONSTRUCTION ORDER

          JAMES L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the court on the parties' dispute regarding one claim term in United States Patent No. 7, 478, 067 ("the '067 Patent"), entitled "Authentication System for Identification Documents." (See SAC (Dkt. # 74), Ex. A ("'067 Patent").) The court has reviewed the parties' claim construction briefs (Intellicheck Op. Br. (Dkt. # 87); Honeywell Op. Br. (Dkt. # 89); Intellicheck Resp. (Dkt. # 92); Honeywell Resp. (Dkt. # 90)), all materials filed in support thereof, the relevant portions of the record, and the relevant case law. The court also heard oral argument from the parties at a Markman hearing on December 15, 2017. (See 12/15/17 Min. Entry (Dkt. # 97).) Being fully advised, the court declines to construe the disputed term for the reasons set forth below.

         II. BACKGROUND

         This is a patent infringement case involving systems and methods for verifying the authenticity of identification documents, such as driver licenses (the "Invention"). Plaintiff Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc. ("Intellicheck") owns five patents covering the Invention; only one, the '067 Patent, is at issue here. (See SAC ¶ 11; see also Jt. Statement (Dkt. #85).) Intellicheck asserts that Defendant Honeywell International Inc. ("Honeywell") has directly infringed upon and induced infringement of its patents-in-suit, including the '067 Patent. (SAC ¶¶ 13-14, 34-57.)

         The court has previously construed the '067 Patent, along with the four other patents at issue, in another patent infringement case brought by Intellicheck with the same counsel representing both parties in the two suits. (See generally Dkt.); see also Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc. v. Wizz Sys., LLC, No. C15-0366JLR (Dkt. # 68) (''Wizz Cl. Constr. Order"). Because of this previous claim construction order, Intellicheck and Honeywell were able to largely agree on many of the disputed terms. However, one term in the '067 Patent remains in dispute:

1. first circuitry at said first location for receiving the information read from the driver license and determining whether the read information read [sic][1]comports with said predetermined format

('067 Patent at 15:1-4.) The court now discusses claim construction law and its application to this disputed term.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Law of Claim Construction

         1. Generally

         The court has the sole responsibility for construing patent claims. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 517 U.S. 370, 372 (1996). In practice, executing the Markman mandate means following rules that rank various sources of evidence illustrating the "true" meaning of claim terms.

         Intrinsic evidence, which includes the patent and its prosecution history, is the primary source from which to derive a claim's meaning. Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1314 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc). The court's task is to determine the "ordinary and customary meaning" of the claim terms in the eyes of a person of ordinary skill in the art on the filing date of the patent. Id. at 1313 (quoting Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic, Inc., 90 F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed. Cir. 1996)). In its review of intrinsic evidence, the court should begin with the language of both the asserted claim and other claims in the patent. Id. at 1314; see also Innova/Pure Water, Inc. v. Safari Water Filtration Sys., Inc., 381 F.3d 1111, 1116 (Fed. Cir. 2004) ("[C]laim construction analysis must begin and remain centered on the claim language itself.").

         The court must read claim language, however, in light of the remainder of the patent's specification. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1316 ("[T]he specification necessarily informs the proper construction of the claims."). The specification acts as a "concordance" for claim terms, and is thus the best source beyond the claim language for understanding those terms. Id. at 1315. But the court should not commit the "cardinal sin" of claim construction-impermissibly reading limitations from the specification into the claims. Id. at 1320 (citing SciMed Life Sys. v. Advanced Cardiovascular Sys., Inc.,242 F.3d 1337, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2001)). Additionally, although the patent's prosecution history is also intrinsic evidence, it is generally "less useful for claim construction purposes" than the specification. Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1317. ...


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