On February 23, 2012, ALJ E. James Gildea issued the public version of Order No. 21 (dated February 14, 2012) construing the claim terms of the patents at issue in Certain Equipment for Communications Networks, including Switches, Routers, Gateways, Bridges, Wireless Access Points, Cable Modems, IP Phones, and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-778).

By way of background, this investigation was instituted by the Commission on June 16, 2011 after MOSAID Technologies Inc. (“MOSAID”) filed a complaint naming as respondents Cisco Systems, Inc., Cisco Consumer Products LLC, Cisco Systems International B.V., and Scientific Atlanta LLC (collectively, “Cisco”).  See our May 20, 2011 post for details about the complaint.  The patents at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 5,841,360 (“the ‘360 patent”), 6,842,459 (“the ‘459 patent”), 7,633,966 (“the ‘966 patent”), 7,035,280 (“the ‘280 patent”), 7,292,600 (“the ‘600 patent”) and 7,830,858 (“the ‘858 patent”).  A Markman hearing was held on September 25 and 26, 2011 regarding the interpretation of the claim terms discussed below.

The ‘360 Patent

Claims 1, 6 and 9 are asserted against Cisco.  The parties disputed whether the preamble of claim 1, “[a] network topology allowing distributed sensing, control and communication,” is a limitation.  ALJ Gildea concluded that the preamble was limiting because a power source coupled to line-Powered, Serially connected Intelligent Cells (“PSICs”) for communication by an addressing means with at least one payload, as set forth in the claims, does not disclose a network topology allowing distributed sensing and control, as well as communication.  However, the ALJ rejected Cisco’s proposed construction as going beyond the extrinsic evidence and adopted MOSAID’s definition.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “a plurality of line-Powered, Serially connected Intelligent Cells (PSICs)” in claim 1.  ALJ Gildea rejected Cisco’s construction because it did not convey the fact that linkage among the PSICs can be multiple.  The ALJ also rejected MOSAID’s definition as an “abstruse variation” of the construction provided by the district court judge in NetGear, which the ALJ adopted verbatim:  “two or more intelligent cells, directly connected using point-to-point medium, where ‘intelligent cells’ refers to programmable elements for providing remote control, sensing and/or communications that when interconnected with other like elements form a communications, control and sensing network or system with distributed intelligence.”

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “addressing means for uniquely referencing each of said PSICs” in claim 1.  MOSAID argued that the related function for the addressing means is the claim language itself, “uniquely referencing each of said PSICs,” whereas Cisco proposed that the function is “uniquely addressing each of said PSICs.”  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID’s recitation of function.  The parties agreed that the algorithm shown in Figure 4 of the ‘360 patent is corresponding structure, but differed with respect to other structure – MOSAID added an encoder, an encoder in the form of a DIP switch, and an encoder in the form of a unique address code as alternative structures, while Cisco incorporated a wholesale section of the specification as additional structures.  The ALJ again agreed with MOSAID, finding Cisco’s proposed corresponding structure too sweeping and imprecise to clarify this term.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “payload element coupled to one of the PSICs for operating in accordance with control logic embedded in or fed to said one of the PSICs” in claim 1.  ALJ Gildea found MOSAID’s construction deficient for failing to define “payload element,” improperly substituting the phrase “electrically connected” in place of “coupled,” and gratuitously adding the words “directly or indirectly,” and similarly found Cisco’s definition faulty insofar as it denotes that it is the PSIC and not the payload element that operates according to some logic, and omits the work “control.”  Thus, the ALJ construed this term to mean “a sensor or actuator device connected to a PSIC for operating in accordance with control logic inherent in or supplied to one of the PSICs.”

The ‘459 Patent

Claims 15-17 and 20-25 are asserted against Cisco.  The parties disputed the meaning of the term “module” in claim 15.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID’s construction because even though the specification teaches that the adapter module can be integrated into, partially housed in, or attached to an outlet, these mechanisms are not exhaustive and should not be considered limiting.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “means for detachably electrically and mechanically coupling said module to the outlet” in claim 15.  MOSAID argued that the related function is the claim language itself, and that the specification of the ‘459 patent identifies a coupler, or an electrical or mechanical connector as alternatives for performing the function.  Cisco substituted the word “the” for the word “said” as the adjective preceding the word “module” in its proposed statement of function, and that the specification does not include an adequate disclosure of the structure that corresponds to the claimed function because the word “detachably” is not present, but to the extent any such structure is disclosed, it is limited to the kit for upgrading existing wiring specified at Col. 9:54-10:11 and shown in Figure 8.  ALJ Gildea adopted MOSAID’s recitation of function, but agreed with Cisco that no corresponding structure is disclosed in the specification.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “upgrading existing wiring of a building” in the preamble of claim 15.  The ALJ found it necessary to resort to the language of the preamble because it provides the antecedent basis for certain terms in the body of the claim, such as “said module,” and then concluded that MOSAID’s construction was more accurate, albeit unnecessarily restrictive in that it limits the upgrading to a segment of wiring as opposed to all of the wiring.  Thus, ALJ Gildea construed the term “upgrading existing wiring of a building” to mean “enhancing the usage of wiring in a building.”

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a service other than data communication signals, and the service is one of a telephone service, an electrical power service, and a cable television service” in claim 15.  The ALJ agreed with MOSAID that this term requires no construction.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the terms “telephone line” in claim 16 and “cable television line” in claim 20.  MOSAID contended that these terms need not be construed, but if they were to be construed than “telephone line” means “an electrically conductive medium intended to transport telephone signals,” and “cable television line” means “an electrically conductive medium intended to transport cable television signals.”  ALJ Gildea construed these terms using MOSAID’s constructions, only without the word “intended,” which the ALJ found unnecessary to render the term understandable.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a local area network having at least one wired segment coupled to an outlet and at least one non-wired segment” in the preamble of claim 15.  ALJ Gildea concluded that this preamble term contains antecedents to terms of the claim and therefore required construction.  The ALJ found both parties’ constructions flawed for improperly adding limitations, and construed this term to mean “a short distance communications network having at least one wired segment coupled to an outlet and at least one non-wired segment.”

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the terms “non-wired segment” and “non-wired modem for communication over said at least one non-wired segment and operative for transporting data communication signal to and from said wired segment” in claim 15.  The central issue was whether the term “non-wired” excludes any physical connections, as Cisco contended (which would presumably exclude communications mediums such as fiber optics from the scope of the claim), or whether it means a segment that is not electrically conducting, as MOSAID argued.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that the term “non-wired segment” means “a segment that is not electrically conducting,” and the term “non-wired modem for communication over said at least one non-wired segment and operative for transporting data communication signal to and from said wired segment” means “a modem capable of communicating over at least one non-wired segment and operative to transport data communication signal to and from the wired segment.”

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “wired modem for transporting data communication signals over the at least one wired segment” in claim 15.  The main issue was whether the “one wired segment” is limited to pre-existing wire segments, as Cisco claimed.  The ALJ agreed with MOSAID that this term was not so limited, and construed it to mean “a modem capable of transporting data communication signals over the at least one wired segment.”

Finally, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a protocol adapter providing a wired coupling between said wired modem and said non-wired modem for effecting conversion between the first and second protocols, whereby digital data is transmitted by half-duplex or full duplex transmission between said non-wired modem and the at least one wired segment via said adapter and said wired modem” in claim 15.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID and construed this term to mean “a protocol adapter that provides an electrically conductive coupling between a wired modem and a non-wired modem for effecting conversion between the first and second protocols, whereby digital data is transmitted by half-duplex or full duplex transmission between the non-wired modem and the at least one wired segment via the adapter and the wired modem.”

The ‘966 Patent

Claims 1, 3, 5, 6 and 9 are asserted against Cisco.  The parties disputed the meaning of the term “a module for coupling a wired digital data signal to a wireless data unit, for use with an existing electrical telephone distribution infrastructure in a building” in the preamble of claim 1.  ALJ Gildea found that the preamble of claim 1 includes language that serves as an antecedent basis for terms in the body of the claim and is therefore limiting.  The ALJ rejected Cisco’s proposed construction of this term in favor of MOSAID’s definition, and applied the construction of “module” discussed above in relation to the ‘459 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “a telephone connector that is electrically and mechanically connectable to the telephone outlet for connecting to the telephone wire pair” in claim 1, specifically how the words “telephone connector” and “telephone outlet” should be construed.  ALJ Gildea declined to construe this term because he found that telephone “connectors” and “outlets” are adequate in themselves to explain the claimed invention.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a packet-based digital protocol adapter consisting of one of a bridge, a router and a gateway, coupled between said telephone modem and said radio-frequency modem for converting data between the wireless digital data protocol and the wired digital data protocol” in claim 1.  MOSAID argued that this term needs no construction, but if it is to be construed than it means “a packet-based digital protocol adapter for converting data between wireless digital data protocol and the wired digital data protocol consisting of a bridge, a router or a gateway, the adapter is coupled between the telephone modem and the radio-frequency modem.”  Cisco maintained that this term is indefinite or alternatively, that it should be accorded its plain and ordinary meaning except for the words “said radio-frequency,” which is indefinite or, alternatively, should be defined as “radio frequency modem for conducting wireless bi-directional packet-based digital data communication of a digital data signal using a wireless radio frequency data communication standard that was ratified as April 19, 2000” (the claimed priority date of the ‘966 patent).  ALJ Gildea found this term not indefinite because Cisco’s brief lacked an adequate explanation of its objections and contained a definition of “modem,” which is not unfamiliar to one of ordinary skill in the art.  The ALJ concluded that this term need not be construed, and gave it its plain and ordinary meaning.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a data transceiver coupled between said data connecter and said packet-based digital protocol adapter, for conducting standard-based bi-direction packet-based digital data communication with the sired data unit” in claim 5.  ALJ Gildea found this term not indefinite for the same reasons as the prior term, and adopted MOSAID’s proposed construction.

Finally, the parties disputed the meaning of the terms “IEEE802.11 standard” in claim 3 and “standard IEEE802.3 interface” in claim 6.  The ALJ concluded that one of ordinary skill in the art would have readily understood these terms in the context of the claim and therefore no constructions are necessary.

The ‘280 Patent

Claims 1, 5, 9, 11-13, 15, 18, 19, 23, 27, 30, 31, 36, 43, 45, 46 and 51 are asserted against Cisco.  The parties disputed the meaning of the term “wiring in a building” in the preamble of claim 1.  ALJ Gildea found that references to “wiring” throughout the rest of claim 1 derive antecedent basis from the preamble language, which is therefore limiting.  The ALJ further concluded that, contrary to Cisco’s assertions, there is nothing in the plain language of the claim that limits “wiring” to existing wiring in the walls of a building, and there is no intrinsic support to show that “wiring” must be limited to telephone, electrical powerline, or coaxial cable wiring.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that this should be given its plain and ordinary meaning.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “wiring connector for connecting said device to the wiring” in claim 1.  ALJ Gildea construed this claim term to mean “a wiring connector that connects the ‘device for coupling a data terminal equipment unit to a data signal carried by wiring’ to said wiring.”

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “modem” in claims 1 and 18.  At issue was whether the patentee specially defined “modem,” as asserted by Cisco, relying again on the distantly related ‘555 application, as well as the reexamination of the ‘510 parent patent, to argue that “modem” cannot encompass a transceiver.  ALJ Gildea concluded that one of ordinary skill in the art reviewing the asserted ‘280 patent claims in light of the specification would understand that the patentee did assign special meaning to “modem,” but instead was referring to what was known in the art.  Thus, the ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “port” in claims 1 and 18.  ALJ Gildea similarly found that the patentee did not assign “port” any special meaning, and that this term should have its plain and ordinary meaning.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “full duplex data signal communication” in claims 1 and 18.  ALJ Gildea concluded that the patentee specifically defined this term in the specification as “bidirectional data signal communication that can take place simultaneously.”

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “modem coupled to said data signal port for full duplex data signal communication with the wiring” in claim 1.  The ALJ defined this claim term to mean “modem that is coupled to the data signal port for bidirectional data signal communication with the wiring that can take place simultaneously.”

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “data interface connector” in claims 1 and 18.  ALJ Gildea found no mention of this term in the specification and concluded that it should be accorded its plain and ordinary meaning.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “power coupler coupled to said wiring connector and having a power signal port operative to pass only the power signal” in claim 1.  ALJ Gildea rejected MOSAID’s argument that it is not the port, but the power coupler as a whole that transmits only the power signal, and likewise rejected Cisco’s proposed insertion of “attached” and proposed substitution of “transmit” for “pass.”  Thus, the ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a power supply coupled to said power signal port and to said modem to be powered by the power signal from the wiring and for powering said modem” in claim 1.  Again, the ALJ rejected both parties’ constructions and accorded this term its plain and ordinary meaning.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a local area network in a building” in the preamble of claim 18.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that this language is not a limitation, and even if it were found limiting, he again rejected Cisco’s arguments that the building’s wiring must be pre-existing and that the patentee was disclaiming bus and star topologies.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “first and second modems each coupled to said data signal port of a respective one of said first and second data couplers for duplex data signal communication with a respective one of said first and second wiring segments” in claim 18.  The ALJ noted that the parties essentially rely on prior arguments regarding the same or similar claim language, and based on previous findings concluded that this term should be construed to mean “first and second modems each coupled to said data signal port of a respective one of said first and second data couplers for ‘bidirectional data signal communication that can take place simultaneously’ with a respective one of said first and second wiring segments.”

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “means for allowing the communication of a data signal over the first wiring segment to be independent of the communication of a data signal over the second wiring segment” in claim 18.  ALJ Gildea disagreed with Cisco that “independent” was specially defined in the specification, and therefore gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning.  As to corresponding structure, the ALJ rejected Cisco’s argument that the claim language is indefinite given that Cisco presented a proposed construction, observing the black letter proposition that only claims not amenable to construction or that are insolubly ambiguous are indefinite.  Further, after reviewing the ‘280 specification, ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that the disclosed structure is (i) the arrangement of control block 522, modems 506 and 512, line interfaces 502 and 514, and electrically-conducting media 503 and 515; or (ii) the arrangement of control block 622, modems 606 and 612, line interfaces 602 and 614, and electrically conducting media 603 and 615.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “first, second and third nodes, each of said nodes containing at least one power consuming circuit” in claim 36.  The ALJ found both parties’ definitions wanting and construed this term to mean “three identifiable entities designated first, second, and third.”

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “wiring segments in a building” in claim 36.  ALJ Gildea rejected Cisco’s arguments for the reasons discussed above regarding claim 1, and likewise rejected MOSAID’s reliance on the “same construction” the district court gave “the virtually identical phrase” in a different patent in NetGear, noting that the patent in that litigation is neither related to the ‘280 patent nor incorporated by reference.  Thus, the ALJ found that the plain and ordinary meaning of the term “wiring segments in a building” should apply.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “bi-directional communication link” in claim 36.  The issue was whether this term requires a modem and a LAN, as urged by Cisco.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that this term was not so limited, and construed it to mean “a link over which communications can pass in both directions.”

Finally, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “said first communication link carries data independent of said second communication link” in claim 36.  The ALJ noted that the parties’ proposed constructions differed little, with Cisco improperly changing the emphasis of the term such that the data of the first link could not preclude or affect the communication of the second link’s data, which would be an absurd reading of the claim.  Thus, ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that this term means “a first communication link over which data is carried that does not affect nor preclude carrying data over the second communication link.”

The ‘600 Patent

Claims 12, 13, 17, 18, 44-46, 50-53, 57, 58, 83 (which depends on unasserted claim 59) and 139 (which depends on unasserted claim 126) are asserted against Cisco.  The parties disputed the meaning of the term “a local area network in a building” in the preambles of claims 12, 44, 59 and 126.  ALJ Gildea concluded that this preamble language was limiting in claims 12, 59 and 126, and that the term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning.  However, the ALJ found that this preamble language was not limiting in claim 44.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “service wiring” in claims 12, 13, 44 and 57.  The central issue was whether the claim language is limited to pre-existing wiring, as argued by Cisco.  ALJ Gildea concluded that this term was not so limited, and that it should have its plain and ordinary meaning, i.e., wiring related to services such as telephone, power, or television/cable.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “service wiring carrying frequency multiplexed service and data signals” in the preamble of claim 12, and the term “service wiring using frequency domain multiplexed service and data signals” in the preamble of claim 44.  The ALJ found that the preamble language was a limitation, and construed the term “service wiring carrying frequency multiplexed service and data signals” in claim 12 to mean “service wiring carrying data signals and service signals at different frequencies,” and construed the term “service wiring using frequency domain multiplexed service and data signals” in claim 14 to mean “service wiring using data signals and service signals carried at different frequencies.”

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “wiring connector for connecting said device to the service wiring” in claim 12.  ALJ Gildea construed this term to mean “a wiring connector that connects the ‘device for configuring a local area network in a building, the network including a service wiring’ to said service wiring” for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claim 1 of the ‘280 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “modem” in claims 12, 44, 59 and 126.  The ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding the term “modem” in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “a modem coupled to said wiring connector for data signal communication with the service wiring” in claim 12.  ALJ Gildea gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claim 1 of the ‘280 patent.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “data interface connector” in claims 12 and 44.  The ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding the same term in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “a transceiver coupled between said data interface connector and said modem for bidirectional communication with the data unit” in claim 12.  This issue was whether the transceiver must be a data interface to a modem, as urged by Cisco.  ALJ Gildea disagreed with Cisco, and defined this term as “a transceiver (other than said modem) coupled between the data interface connector and the modem for bidirectional communication with the data unit.”

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “port” in claims 44, 59 and 126.  The ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding the same term in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “first and second modems each coupled to said respective one of said first and second ports, for data signal communication with a respective one of said first and second wiring segments” in claim 44, relying on their previous arguments with respect to the terms “modem” and “port,” among others.  ALJ Gildea gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for, inter alia, the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 12, 44, 59 and 126, as well as claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “transceiver coupled between said at least one data interface connector and at least one of said modems, and operative for establishing a bi-directional data signal connection with a data unit” in claim 44.  The ALJ defined this term as “at least one transceiver (other than said modem) coupled between the ‘at least one data interface connector’ and at least one of the modems, and operative for establishing bi-directional data signal connection with a data unit” for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claim 12.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “means for allowing the communication of a data signal over the first wiring segment to be independent of the communication of a data signal over the second wiring segment” in claim 46.  ALJ Gildea concluded that the disclosed function and structure were the same as those described above with respect to identical language in claim 18 of the ‘280 patent.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “modem coupled to said data signal port for bi-directional digital data signal communication with one or more additional modems of the same type as said modem over the coaxial cable” in claim 59.  The ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claim 1 of the ‘280 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “the network including at least part of an existing coaxial cable … the cable carrying a frequency multiplexed analog service signal and a digital data signal” in the preamble of claims 59 and 126.  ALJ Gildea found that this preamble language was limiting and defined as “the network including at least part of an existing coaxial cable … the cable carrying an analog service signal and a digital data signal at different frequencies” for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 12 and 44.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “filter coupled to said coaxial connector and having a data signal port operative to pass only the digital data signal” in claims 59 and 126.  The ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 12 and 44, as well as claim 1 of the ‘280 patent.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “full-duplex serial digital data communication” in claims 59 and 126.  ALJ Gildea construed this term to mean “bidirectional serial digital data communication that can take place simultaneously” for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “a data transceiver coupled between said data connector and said modem and operative to effect full-duplex serial digital data communication with the data unit” in claim 59.  The ALJ defined this term as “a data transceiver (other than said modem) coupled between the data connector and the modem and operative to effect full-duplex serial digital data communication with the data unit” for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 12 and 44, as well as claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

Finally, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “modem coupled to said data signal port for bi-directional digital data signal communication over the coaxial cable” in claim 126.  ALJ Gildea found that Cisco did not timely propose that this language should be construed, and even if Cisco had timely offered a construction, its arguments would have essentially been addressed elsewhere in the Order with respect to similar or identical language.

The ‘858 Patent

Claims 34-39, 111-14, 118 and 120-31 are asserted against Cisco.  The parties disputed the meaning of the term “point-to-point local area network wiring segment” in the preamble of claim 34.  ALJ Gildea found this preamble language to be a limitation, and concluded that wiring segments may transmit communications that reach multiple receivers, as urged by MOSAID, but that such communications take place between exactly one sender and exactly one receiver, as argued by Cisco.  The ALJ also rejected Cisco’s other proposed language for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent, and claims 12, 44, 59 and 126 of the ‘600 patent.  Accordingly, ALJ Gildea construed this term to mean “wiring segments in a local area network for providing communication between exactly one sender and exactly one receiver.”

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “full-duplex serial digital data” in claims 34, 111 and 128.  The ALJ defined this term as “bidirectional serial digital data that can be communicated or carried simultaneously” for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “full duplex digital data communication” in claim 34.  The ALJ defined this term as “bidirectional digital data communication that can take place simultaneously” for the reasons discussed above regarding similar or identical language in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the terms “first transceiver coupled to said first connector for communication of the first full duplex serial digital data with a transceiver of the same type as said first transceiver over said first wiring segment,” “second transceiver coupled to said second connector for communication of the second full-duplex serial digital data with a transceiver of the same type as said second transceiver over said second wiring segment,” and “third transceiver coupled to said first and second transceivers for full-duplex digital data communication with a data unit” in claim 34.  ALJ Gildea essentially agreed with MOSAID that these terms should be given their plain and ordinary meaning, referring to his prior analysis regarding the same or similar language in claims 12 and 59 of the ‘600 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “power connector for coupling to a power source that supplies the first and second DC power signals” in claim 34.  The issue was whether this term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning, as proposed by MOSAID, or whether “power source” is limited to external power sources, as argued by Cisco.  The ALJ agreed with MOSAID that plain and ordinary meaning should apply.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “first and second current limiting circuits respectively coupled between said power connector and the first and second connectors for respectively current limiting of the first and second DC power signal” in claim 34.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that this term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning, concluding that there is no language in the claim to suggest that the current limiting circuits interrupt the DC power signal supplied by the power connector when the current exceeds a threshold, as proposed by Cisco.  The ALJ likewise rejected Cisco’s argument that claims 2 and 51 of the ‘858 patent indicate that the current limiting circuits are fuses under the doctrine of claim differentiation.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “wherein the first and second full-duplex serial digital data are independent and distinct from each other” in claim 34.  At issue was whether the language “independent and distinct from each other” should be given its plain and ordinary meaning, as MOSAID contended, or whether “communication of the first full-duplex serial digital data over the first wiring segment cannot preclude or affect in any way communication of the second full-duplex digital data over the second wiring segment,” as Cisco argued.  ALJ Gildea agreed with MOSAID that plain and ordinary meaning should apply.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “further functioning as a multiplexer, wherein the communication with the data unit includes communication of a serial digital data stream carrying time multiplexed first and second data streams” in claim 39.  This issue was whether the language “carrying time multiplexed first and second data streams.”  The ALJ rejected both parties’ constructions and opted for the plain and ordinary meaning of this term, noting that the specification explains that a multiplexer is known communication and equipment, and that a person of ordinary skill in the art would look to known methods of time-domain multiplexing.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “LAN” in claims 111, 118, 122, 124, 126 and 128.  ALJ Gildea concluded that this term should have its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding the same or similar language in claim 18 of the ‘280 patent and claims 12, 44, 59 and 126 of the ‘600 patent.

In addition, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “port” in claim 111.  Again, the ALJ found that this term should have its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding the same term in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.

The parties also disputed the meaning of the term “LAN transceiver coupled to said third port of said power/data splitter for point-to-point communication of the packet-based full duplex serial digital data” in claim 111.  ALJ Gildea construed this term to mean “LAN transceiver coupled to said third port of said power/data splitter for packet-based ‘full duplex serial digital data’ communication that takes place between exactly one sender and exactly one receiver” for the reasons discussed above regarding the same or similar language in claims 34 and 111.

Further, the parties disputed the meaning of the term “transceiver coupled between said LAN transceiver and said digital data connector for bidirectional digital data communication with said wired digital data unit” in claim 118.  The ALJ gave this term its plain and ordinary meaning for the reasons discussed above regarding the same or similar language in claims 34 and 111.

Finally, the parties disputed the term “full duplex standard serial communication” in claim 120.  ALJ Gildea defined this term as “bidirectional standard serial communication that can take place simultaneously” for the reasons discussed above regarding the same or similar language in claims 1 and 18 of the ‘280 patent.