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Wordlogic Corp. v. Chicago Logic, Inc.

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

June 5, 2017

WORDLOGIC CORPORATION and 602531 BRITISH COLUMBIA LTD., Plaintiffs,
v.
CHICAGO LOGIC, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Gary Feinerman, Judge

          WordLogic Corp. and its subsidiary 602531 British Columbia Ltd. (together, “WordLogic”) allege in this suit that Chicago Logic, Inc. infringed two patents, United States Patent Nos. 7, 681, 124 (“the ‘124 patent”) and 8, 552, 984 (“the ‘984 patent”). Doc. 1. The court denied Chicago Logic's motion to dismiss. Doc. 22. Then, at the parties' request, the court stayed discovery in order to conduct a mini-Markman hearing to construe one key term in each patent. Docs. 24, 26; see Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370 (1996); Ceats, Inc. v. Cont'l Airlines, Inc., 2012 WL 12903148, at *2 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 14, 2012) (describing “the use of early ‘mini-Markman hearings in conjunction with limited discovery … to promote judicial economy and save the parties considerable sums of money in attorneys fees where an early resolution of the case appears appropriate and likely”). Having reviewed the parties' written submissions and heard argument, the court construes the key terms as set forth below.

         Background

         The court will first briefly summarize the complaint's allegations and describe the patent claims at issue. In setting forth WordLogic's allegations at this stage, the court does not vouch for their accuracy. See Jay E. Hayden Found. v. First Neighbor Bank, N.A., 610 F.3d 382, 384 (7th Cir. 2010).

         WordLogic develops predictive text technology for computerized devices such as personal computers, tablets, and smart phones. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 8-9. One of its products is a predictive keyboard application called “iKnowU, ” which is designed to make accurate typing faster and easier for mobile device users by predicting the letters, words, and phrases most likely to follow what the user has already typed. Id. at ¶ 11. The ‘124 and ‘984 patents cover the iKnowU technology. Ibid.

         Chicago Logic is among WordLogic's competitors. Id. at ¶ 12. One of Chicago Logic's products is Big Buttons Keyboard Deluxe, which offers suggestions for completing words as a user types. Id. at ¶¶ 14-15. As a user enters letters on the keyboard, Big Buttons Keyboard Deluxe generates and displays a list of “completion candidates”-i.e., what the user may be intending to type next. Id. at ¶ 16. When a list of completion candidates appears, the user has at least three options. First, she may decline all of the completion candidates by hitting the space bar, which terminates automated completion-candidate searching and displays only the keyboard. Id. at ¶ 17. Second, she may accept one of the completion candidates by clicking on the chosen candidate, which also terminates automated completion-candidate searching and displays only the keyboard. Id. at ¶ 18. Third, she may choose one of the completion candidates to initiate more searching by swiping up on that candidate, causing a new list of completion candidates (but not the keyboard) to be displayed. Id. at ¶ 19.

         WordLogic alleges that this feature of Big Buttons Keyboard Deluxe directly infringes at least Claim 1 of the ‘124 patent. That claim, with the key term in italics, covers:

1. A method of supporting text entry on a personal computing device by allowing a user to automatically search for and select completion candidates displayed in a search list based on a partial text entry, the method comprising:
(a) receiving a user input signal;
(b) if the user input signal corresponds to declining all completion candidates displayed in the search list, terminating automated searching with the search list and displaying a digital keyboard while not displaying the search list with no consequence to the text entered into the personal computing device, and waiting for further user input from the digital keyboard;
(c) if the user input signal corresponds to accepting a completion candidate from the search list to replace the partial text entry and to terminate automated searching, terminating the automated searching with the search list, modifying the partial text entry to become the accepted completion candidate, displaying the digital keyboard while not displaying the search list, and waiting for further user input from the digital keyboard; and
(d) if the user input signal corresponds to selecting a completion candidate from the search list to initiate further searching, obtaining a new list of completion candidates based on the selected completion candidate and displaying the new list of completion candidates in the search list for further selection while not displaying the digital keyboard, and waiting for further user input from the search list.

Doc. 28-1 at 46 (emphasis added).

         In addition to Big Buttons Keyboard Deluxe, Chicago Logic has a product called Big Buttons Keyboard Standard. Doc. 1 at ¶ 24. Both products “redirect key input from an application in which text is being entered to the keyboard application itself when a particular key is held for a predetermined amount of time, and then redirect key ...


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