Summary: CAFC affirmed grant of summary judgment of non-infringement.

Case: Nazomi Commc’ns, Inc. v. Nokia Corp., No. 2013-1165 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 10, 2014) (precedential). On appeal from N.D. Cal. Before Lourie, Dyk, and Wallach.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff patentee appealed from claim construction decision and grant of summary judgment of non-infringement. CAFC affirmed.

  • Claim Construction: The district court correctly construed claims for a central processing unit as requiring the combination of both hardware and software where the claims recited specific functionalities that could not be practiced in hardware alone and required enabling software. The Federal Circuit found these were not claims to hardware that was merely “programmable” to perform a function, but to a combination of hardware and software capable of performing that function.
  • Infringement: The district court correctly granted summary judgment of non-infringement where the claims required a combination of hardware and software, and it was undisputed that the accused products did not contain the required software. This case is distinguishable from cases where the required functionality is present in an accused apparatus, but must be unlocked by purchasing a product key. The Federal Circuit reasoned that the installation of the required software in this case is not unlocking functionality, but adding new functionality not present in the accused products.

 Lourie, concurring:

  • Infringement: The decision can be reached on the sole ground that the claim limitation “capable of executing a plurality of instruction sets . . .” is not met by the accused products.