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Visual Interactive Phone Concepts, Inc. v. United States Cellular Corp.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

August 11, 2016

VISUAL INTERACTIVE PHONE CONCEPTS, INC., Plaintiff/Counterclaim-Defendant,
v.
UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION, Defendant/Counterclaim-Plaintiff.

          OPINION AND ORDER

         Plaintiff Visual Interactive Phone Concepts, Inc. ("VIPC") brings this action against defendant United States Cellular Corporation ("USCC") charging infringement of United States Patent No. 5, 724, 092 ("the '092 patent") titled "Videophone Interactive Mailbox Facility System and Method of Processing Information." The patent was reexamined and amended. Reexamination certificates were issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") in 2010 and 2013.

         There are a number of motions before the court. USCC seeks to strike VIPC's infringement contentions. (Dkt. 156.) VIPC contends that its infringement contentions comply with Local Rules that require notice to the defendant of the basis for a plaintiffs belief that it has a reasonable chance of proving infringement. Judge Bucklo struck the contentions with leave to amend. (Diet. 150.) Plaintiff has amended and defendant has renewed its motion.

         USCC seeks a ruling on a motion for partial summary judgment of no liability prior to the date of the second reexamination certificate issued with respect to the '092 patent. That motion was denied by Judge Bucklo as premature until after claim construction. (Dkt. 99.)

         USCC has moved for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014) requesting a judgment of invalidity because the '092 patent does not claim patent eligible subject matter within the meaning of 35 U.S.C.§101.

         Issues of claim construction should be resolved before the other pending motions are considered.

         Infringement of Claims 1 and 3 of the '092 patent is claimed. The patent claims a system for ordering and viewing videos and video product and related transaction information using a videophone. As amended, Claims 1 and 3 of the '092 patent provide:

1. A videophone interactive mailbox facility system including a central data center for processing of information to conduct a transaction, comprising:
a) a user station having a videophone for viewing transaction information and video [1] sent or received to conduct a transaction; and means for inputting said transaction information into said videophone; said videophone including a video screen, 1 a memory chip for storing said transaction information and an interface chip for interfacing with said central data center; wherein said videophone is a single integrated device that includes a general purpose computer and a telephone; [2] and
b) said central data center electronically connected to said user station including a computer processor connected to a video storage center1 for centralized transmitting, receipt of and storage of said transaction information and vendor-type video product and service1 information with said user station; database storage components for receiving and storing said transaction information sent from said user station; and a network interface for electronically connecting and making said computer processor compatible with said user station.

         3. A videophone interactive mailbox facility system including a central data center for processing information, comprising:

a) a user station having a videophone for viewing information sent or received; and means for inputting said information into said videophone; wherein said videophone is a single integrated device that includes a general purpose computer and a telephone; 2 and
b) said central data center electronically connected to said user station and including a computer processor connected to a video storage center1for centralized transmitting, receipt of and storage of said information and vendor-type video product and service information with said user station; database storage components for receiving and storing said information sent from said user station; and a network interface for electronically connecting and making said computer processor compatible with said user station.

         The parties' proposed construction is as follows:

Term
USCC's Construction
VIPC's Construction

videophone interactive mailbox facility

Limiting preamble term. - a system (1) with a videophone; (2) where ""interactive" means that the user can control both input and output of the display or information that is received and that this does not include passive systems where information is sent to a user without any control by the user; and (3) where "mailbox facility" means that the user can receive information from the system even when the user is not on the phone and the display includes messages sent to the user station while the user is not on the system.

Non-limiting preamble that does not require construction. Moreover this is self defined by the claims.

central data center electronically connected to said user station and including a computer processor connected to a video storage center for centralized transmitting, receipt of and storage of said information and vendor-type video product and service information with said user station; database storage components for receiving and storing said [transaction] information sent from said user station; and a network interface for electronically connecting and making said computer processor compatible with said user station

The central data center is a part of the claimed system which contains at least the following three components:

(1) a computer processor connected to a video storage center for centralized transmitting, receipt of and storage of said transaction information and vendor-type video and product and service information with the user station;

(2) database storage components for receiving and storing said transaction information sent from the user station; and,

(3) a network interface for electronically connecting and making said computer processor component of the central data center compatible with the user station.

The central data center is "centralized" within the claimed system which means that it is placed between the user station and the vendor(s) and processes information to conduct a transaction. There cannot be more than one central data center in the claimed system.

Computing system, including one or more computer processors, connected to one or more video storage centers and one or more videophones, and sends, receives, and stores information and video content.

a user station having a videophone

A user device that includes a video phone as well as additional, physically separate structures such as a printer, expanded touch pad, encoder, or decoder.

A videophone by itself or in combination with additional devices.

videophone is a single integrated device that includes a general purpose computer and a telephone

Videophone is a single integrated device that includes a general purpose computer and a telephone where a videophone is a device (1) having the capabilities to receive video/voice and/or video/text as its primary function; and (2) integrated with additional PC technologies and similar capabilities (disk storage, CDs, diskettes, and memory in the megabyte range and up and/or keyboards). Video/voice and/or video/text refer to the claimed functionality where video/voice refers to the combination of video and voice and video/text refers to the combination of video and text.

A videophone is a single device that incorporates a telephone, a display screen, and a computer and can receive and display video content and is commonly referred to as a smartphone.

means for inputting said [transaction] information into said videophone

Function: inputting transaction information into the videophone (no construction needed).

Corresponding Structure: buttons on a touch pad, expanded touch pad, and equivalents that is part of the user station, not the videophone.

Allowing a user to submit information into a videophone including through buttons or a touch-sensitive display screen. The support in the '092 patent includes "touch pad, " Abstract, figure 4, col. 6:1-4, col. 25:42, claim 6, claim 7; "touch panel on ... the LCD screen, " col. 2:15-18; "pushbuttons, " col. 4:21; "keyboards, " col. 15:3.

electronically connected to

Wired connection over which electrons can travel.

Electronically joined or linked, whether wired, wireless or through software or computer hardware.

[transaction]

Information about an agreement, 1 contract, exchange, understanding, or

Information about a transaction, for example the identity, price,

information

transfer of cash or property that occurs between two or more parties and establishes a legal connection. This construction applies both to '"information" by itself and to '"transaction information."

quality or quantity of tangible or intangible goods.

vendor-type video product and service information

A visual (i.e. not consisting solely of text) representation of a product or service that can be made the subject of a transaction.

Video content and information about video content.

central data center connected to said user station and including a computer processor connected to a video storage center for centralized transmitting, receipt of and storage of said [transaction] information and vendor-type video product and service information with said user station

Equipment within the central data center for centralized transmitting, receipt of and nontemporary storage of said transaction information and all vendor-type video product and service information with said user station, where temporary storage is defined as "a region in memory or on storage device that is temporarily allocated for use in storing intermediate data in a computational, sorting, or transfer operation."

Computer hardware or software that stores video content.

computer processor

The computational and control unit of a computer. The central processing unit is the device that interprets and executes instructions.

Component of a computing device that interprets or executes signals or instructions or manipulates data, and which is found in servers, routers and other computers.

database storage components

Computer equipment on which a database is stored where a database is a file composed of ...


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