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Semcon IP v. Amazon.com, Inc.

CLAIM CONSTRUCTION MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Claim Construction H



The Parties’ Positions

Plaintiff submits: As the Court held in Huawei, a “voltage source” may include a power supply but is not necessarily a power supply nor does it necessarily include a power supply. In fact, a claim limitation construed by the Court in Huawei expressly recited a “voltage source includes a programmable power supply.” There would be no need to recite this if a voltage source inherently was a power supply. Thus, a “voltage source” is not necessarily a power supply that provides distinct voltage levels specified by an input. Dkt. No. 48 at 19–20.

Defendant responds: As the Court held for similar terms in Huawei, the “voltage source” necessarily is a power supply that provides different voltage outputs. As recited in the claims (Claim 10 and 17 of the ’247 Patent), the “voltage source” is used to change the processor supply voltage. As described in the Asserted Patents, the voltage source that does this is a “programmable voltage generator” that provides selectable and distinct voltage levels to the processor. Ultimately, the “voltage source” of the claims must be able to provide different voltages to the processor. Dkt. No. 50 at 22–23.

In addition to the claims themselves, Defendant cites the following intrinsic evidence to support its position: ’247 Patent col.2 ll.63–65, col.6 ll.12–16.

Plaintiff replies: Defendant’s proposed construction is not clear because it is “unclear what makes a voltage level ‘distinct.’” Further, it imports limitations from “programmable” and “selectable” sources expressed in different claims. Dkt. No. 53 at 10.

Plaintiff cites further intrinsic evidence to support its position: ’247 Patent col.6 ll.9–11.

Analysis

There are two issues in dispute. First, whether a “voltage source” is necessarily a “power supply.” It is not. Second, whether the voltage source is necessarily “configured to provide one of a plurality of distinct voltage levels specified by an input.” It is not.

To begin, the Court’s construction of various “programmable”/“selectable” “power supply” and “voltage” terms in Huawei was directed to resolving the dispute over whether “programmable” and “selectable” means that the voltage supplied was “one of several possible voltage outputs [provided] in response to an input.” Huawei, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108040, at *42. Neither the issue of whether the voltage source of the claims inherently is (or includes) a power supply nor the issue of whether the voltage source of the claims inherently is configured to provide a plurality of distinct voltage levels specified by an input was raised or addressed in Huawei. Id. at *40–43. The “voltage source” terms here, from Claims 10 and 17 of the ’247 Patent, were not before the Court in Huawei. Id.

The claims at issue, Claims 10 and 17 of the ’247 Patent, both expressly provide that the “voltage source” is capable of providing at least two different voltage levels, but do not limit how that capability is used or implemented as Defendant advocates. For example, Claim 10 recites: “using the processing device, controlling a voltage source to change a voltage supplied to the processing device from the first voltage to the second voltage.” Claim 17 similarly provides, “the processing device operable to control the voltage source to change from providing the first voltage to providing the second voltage.” It is plain without construction that the two voltage levels supplied or provided by the “voltage source” in these claims are distinct—the voltage is changed therefore the levels are different. Claim 10 further provides that the “second voltage, [has] a magnitude less than a magnitude of the first voltage.” The claims also require that the processing device implement the change. That said, there is no requirement that the output of the voltage source be “specified by an input.” In Huawei, the “specified by an input” limitation was a function of the expressed “selectable” or “programmable” limitations, not of the “voltage source” limitations. Huawei, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108040, at *40–43. Lacking the “selectable” or “programmable” limitation expressed in other claims, the Court rejects Defendant’s proposal to limit the output of the voltage source in Claims 10 or 17 to that “specified by an input.”

The Court also rejects Defendant’s invitation to rewrite “voltage source” to “power supply.” In the exemplary embodiments, a “power supply” and a “voltage generator” are distinct concepts. See, e.g., ’061 Patent col.2 ll.49–52 (“The hardware includes a processor 10, a clock generator 11, a programmable voltage generator 12, system memory (DRAM) 14, and an external battery (or other power supply) 13.”). In Figure 1, the voltage generator, not the power supply, provides the voltage to the processing unit. From this, the Court understands that a voltage source may be distinct from a power supply. Indeed, it is not clear that the Figure 1 embodiment has anything that satisfies the “voltage source” terms under Defendant’s proposed construction. The power source is a battery and there is no suggestion that the battery is configurable to provide different voltage outputs in response to an input. That function is performed by the voltage generator, which is distinct from the power supply.

Accordingly, the Court rejects Defendant’s proposal to limit a voltage source to a “power supply configured to provide one of a plurality of distinct voltage levels specified by an input.” The Court holds that the term “voltage source” has is plain and ordinary meaning without the need for further construction.


Case No. 2:18-cv-00192

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