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Intellect Wireless, Inc. v. Kyocera Communications

October 8, 2009

INTELLECT WIRELESS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
KYOCERA COMMUNICATIONS, INC., KYOCERA WIRELESS CORP., AND SPRINT SPECTRUM L.P., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James F. Holderman, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Intellect Wireless, Inc. ("Intellect Wireless") brought this suit against Motorola, Inc. ("Motorola"), LG Electronics, Inc. ("LG"), Sanyo North America Corporation ("Sanyo"), Kyocera Communications, Inc. (formerly known as Kyocera Sanyo Telecom, Inc.) ("Kyocera Communications"), Kyocera Wireless Corp. ("Kyocera Wireless") for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,266,186 ("'186 Patent") and 7,310,416 ("'416 Patent") and against Sprint Spectrum L.P. ("Sprint") for infringement the '186 Patent and U.S. Patent Nos. 7,257,210 and 7,305,076. Motorola, LG, and Sanyo have since been dismissed from this dispute.

Currently before the court is Kyocera Communications and Kyocera Wireless's (collectively "Kyocera") "Motion for Partial Summary Judgment of Invalidity for Indefiniteness Under 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 2" [159]. Specifically, Kyocera argues that both claim 1 of the '186 Patent and claim 1 of the '416 Patent impermissibly mix two distinct classes of patentable subject matter in violation of IPXL Holdings, L.L.C. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 430 F.3d 1377 (Fed. Cir. 2005).For the reasons explained below, the court finds that the '186 and '416 Patents are not invalid for indefiniteness. Consequently, Kyocera's motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

Intellect Wireless is the assignee of the '186 and '416 Patents and has asserted claims 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 14, 17, 34, and 35 of the '186 Patent and claims 1, 2, 4, 7, 25, 35, 36, 43, and 44 of the '416 Patent against Kyocera. (Kyocera's Statement Undisputed Material Facts ¶¶ 5-6; Kyocera's Mem. Supp. Mot. Partial S.J. 2 n.3.) In its defense, Kyocera argues that both claim 1 of the '186 Patent and claim 1 of the '416 Patent impermissibly claim two distinct classes of patentable subject matter: an apparatus and a method. As a result, according to Kyocera, eighteen of the twenty asserted claims are invalid for indefiniteness. (Kyocera's Mem. Supp. Mot. Partial S.J. 1-2.)*fn1

Asserted claim 1 of the '186 Patent is an independent apparatus claim directed to a wireless portable communication device coupled to a "message center" to receive a message from a "message originator." (Kyocera's Statement Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 7.) Asserted claims 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 14, 17, 34, and 35 of the '186 Patent depend on either claim 1 or on a claim or claims depending on claim 1. (Id. ¶ 8.)

Claim 1 of the '186 Patent provides the following: A wireless portable communication device for use by a message recipient for receiving a picture from a message originator having a telephone number, comprising:

a receiver operably coupled to receive a message from a message center over a wireless connection, the message including a non-facsimile picture supplied by the message originator and a caller ID automatically provided by a communications network that identifies the telephone number of the message originator, the message originator sending the caller ID with the picture to the message center; a display; and a controller operably coupled to display the picture and caller ID on the display. '189 Patent, col. 46, ll. 43-56 (emphasis added).

Claim 1 of the '416 Patent also claims an independent apparatus directed to a wireless portable communication device coupled to a "message center" to receive a message from a "message originator." (Kyocera's Statement Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 9.) Asserted claims 2, 4, 7, 25, 35, and 36 of the '416 Patent depend on either independent claim 1 or on a claim or claims depending on claim 1. (Id. ¶ 10.)

Claim 1 of the '416 Patent claims the following: A wireless portable communication device comprising: a CPU; a portable receiver operably coupled to receive a message from a message center over a wireless connection, the message including a non-facsimile picture supplied by the message originator and a caller ID automatically provided by a communications network that identifies the telephone number of the message originator, the message originator sending the caller ID with the picture to the message center, the portable receiver coupled to the CPU; a memory that stores (1) Caller ID data received and (2) data associated with actual or potential communicants in a database, wherein the data represents at least one of:

a) a telephone number;

b) name;

c) address; and

d) picture ...


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