U n i t e d S t a t e s D i s t r i c t C o u r t
F o r t h e N o r t h e r n D i s t r i c t o f C a l i f o r n i a
Rambus's opening and reply briefs exclusively refer to U.S. Patent No. 6,426,916. Thecourt cannot ascertain any substantive difference between the two patents' specifications. Because of the patents' different prosecution histories described at the beginning of the specification, however,citations to one patent's specification do not map to the other. Unexplainedly, the parties did notharmonize their briefing on this point.
This case has spawned a number of transcripts. Unless otherwise noted, citations to thetranscript refer to the trial transcript from the bifurcated, consolidated trial the court held from Januaryto March of 2008 regarding some of the Manufacturers' fraud and antitrust counterclaims.
CLAIM CONSTRUCTION ORDER FOR THE FARMWALD/HOROWITZ PATENTS AND ORDER DENYING THEMANUFACTURERS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF NON-INFRINGEMENT AND INVALIDITY DEPENDINGON CLAIM CONSTRUCTION
C-05-00334 RMW; C-05-02298-RMW; C-06-00244-RMWTSF
Given the number of claim terms in dispute and complexity of the technology, the courtbegins by explaining the context of the invention and the contents of the specification relevant to thedisputed issues.
Cf. Phillips v. AWH Corp.
, 415 F.3d 1303, 1313, 1315-17 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (enbanc). It then briefly recounts aspects of the prosecution history before turning to claimconstruction.
A.Background of the Inventions and the Specification's Written Description
Drs. Farmwald and Horowitz began their collaboration in the fall of 1988. Tr. 4078:21-4079:7.
Dr. Farmwald met with Dr. Horowitz over dinner to discuss how processor speeds andmemory speeds were diverging and how memory systems needed to become faster to keep up. Tr.4079:9-4082:9. Within the semiconductor industry, this problem was commonly referred to as the"memory bottleneck" or "memory gap." Tr. 4084:7-4091:8 (Dr. Horowitz); 4161:10-4163:3 (CarlEverett); 5498:9-5502:8 (Dr. Farmwald). Over the course of the next year and a half, Drs. Farmwaldand Horowitz worked on a variety of ideas for closing the memory gap, and they eventually wroteup their ideas in a patent application. Tr. 4133:15-4134:14. Dr. Horowitz testified that he "took over" the drafting of the specification.
The following discussion walks through the patents'common specification to illustrate the scope of the written description and explain the technology.
1.The Prior Art and Objects of the Invention
Dr. Horowitz testified that with the specification, he and Dr. Farmwald were "trying todescribe our inventions, all the innovations that we had come up with to build a very high speedinterface." Tr. 4134:10-14. The court will summarize here, however, only the intrinsic evidenceand not the inventors' self-serving testimony. The specification begins with the field of the