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Claim Constructions Determined

Rates Technology Inc., v. Broadvox Holding Company et al.

Case Number: 1:13-cv-00152-SAS (Dkt. 125)

Judge Scheindlin construed terms from U.S. Patents Nos. 5,425,085 (entitled “Least cost routing device for separate connection into phone line”) and 5,519,769 (entitled “Method and system for updating a call rating database”). In so doing, she found prior judicial construction of terms persuasive, despite plaintiff’s argument. She said that the prior constructions would be more favorable to plaintiffs than new constructions would be, given that the patents had since undergone reexamination. Further, she rejected plaintiff’s argument that its statements to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences were not binding

The court’s constructions follow.

´085 Patent, Claim 1

Term/Phrase

Construction

1. “a housing forming an enclosure and comprising”

“a unitary physical structure that includes a first jack for connection to a first telephone and a second jack for connection to a network. A claimed device may have more than one housing forming an enclosure, as defined above.”

2. “switch means operatively connected to said first jack means for disconnecting (as defined below) said first telephone from said network during routing of a telephone call from said first telephone”

“switch operatively connected to said first jack for disconnecting said first telephone from said network during routing of a telephone call from said first telephone.”

3. “disconnecting”

“the interruption—the breaking or opening—of the electrical circuit between the telephone jack and the network.”

4 & 5. “means operatively connected to said switch means for generating a current through said switch means to the first telephone corresponding to a current provided by said network, when the first telephone is disconnected from said network to said switch means”

“an intermediate element that conditions or regulates electrical power from a more distant source so that it corresponds to the current that would otherwise have been provided directly by the telephone network, and passes the current through the switch to power the telephone.”

6. “means operatively connected to said switch means for detecting and storing said telephone number originating from the first telephone”

“This is a means-plus-function element, whose construction is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(f).

Function: detecting and storing said telephone number originating from the first telephone.

Structure: col. 4 ll. 40–43 and Fig. 2. The dial tone detect circuit (86) connects to the line coming from the polarity guard (42) and connects to the line detector (40). The DTMF tone detector (88) detects and saves tones generated from the first phone.”

7. “means for addressing said database means for identifying a plurality of communication switch paths to said second telephone and the cost rate of each path”

“This is a means-plus-function element, whose construction is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(f). 

Function: addressing a database that identifies a plurality of communication switch paths to said second telephone and the cost rate of each path.

Structure: the algorithm disclosed in the specification at col. 6 ll. 7–47 and Fig. 5.”

8. “means actuated subsequent to the detection of said telephone number originating from said first telephone for comparing the cost rate of each path so as to determine a least cost route”

“This is a means-plus-function element, whose construction is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(f).

Function: comparing the cost rate of each path so as to determine a least cost route.

Structure: Ref. No. 50; col. 2 ll. 10–11; col. 4 ll. 1–16; col. 6 ll. 22–25; Figs. 2, 5.”

9. “means operatively connected to said switch means and said second jack means for generating a number sequence corresponding to a desired carrier so that said call is routed through said second jack means to the selected communication path and carrier to establish a switched connection between said first telephone and said second telephone”

“This is a means-plus-function element, whose construction is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(f).

Function: generating a number sequence corresponding to a desired carrier for routing call to establish a switched connection between said first telephone and said second telephone.

Structure: col. 2 ll. 11–18; col. 4 ll. 34–39 and Fig. 2.”




´769 Patent, Claim 1

Term/Phrase

Construction

1. “at a predetermined time and date”

“a time and date for calling the rate provider selected a period in advance of the call.”

2. “call rating device”

“least cost routing device.”

3. “transmitting over the data transfer line”

“transmitting information over the same wire or wires operatively connected to a call rating device on one end and a phone network on the other.”

4. “verifying if billing rate parameters should be updated”

“the rate provider, based on the information received from the call rating device, verifies if the billing rate parameters should be updated.”

5. “transmitting from the rate provider to the call rating device”

“the rate provider, based on the information received from the call rating device, transmits the billing rate parameters to the call rating device.”


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