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Iridescent Networks, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility

Lack of Definition in Claim Limits Term of Degree to Specification

Iridescent Networks, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility, LLC, __ F.3d __, 2019 WL 3770833 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 12, 2019) (Prost, REYNA, Taranto) (E.D. Tex.: Schroeder) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir affirms judgment of noninfringement. Iridescent’s patent relates to guaranteeing network bandwidth for high priority applications. The district court correctly determined that key term (“high quality of service connection”) is a term of degree, and is limited to a specific embodiment. The opinion describes how only one embodiment sufficiently describes a “high” quality of service, and the prosecution history is consistent. It rejects Iridescent’s counterarguments based on the specification and prosecution history. The absence of a disavowal did not make the prosecution history irrelevant to the issue, and 3M Innovative Properties, 725 F.3d 1315 (Fed. Cir. 2013), is not contrary because “the disputed term is a coined term, meaning it has no ordinary and customary meaning,” making the prosecution history an appropriate source of guidance. That Iridescent made the prosecution statements at issue in responding to an enablement rejection did not limit the statements’ impact. Cases in which the Fed Cir declined to add a numerical limitation are distinguishable because in those cases the proposed numerical limit would have rendered a dependent claim meaningless. See Honeywell, 488 F.3d 982 (Fed. Cir. 2007); In re Cruciferous Sprout, 301 F.3d 1343 (Fed. Cir. 2002).

KEYWORDS: CLAIM CONSTRUCTION; INFRINGEMENT (YES); TERMS OF DEGREE