Rowe Int’l Corp. v. Ecast, Inc., No. 06 C 2703, 2007 WL 1498958 (N.D. Ill. May 17, 2007) (Kennelly, J.).*
Judge Kennelly issued this claim construction opinion construing the claims of eight patents related to computer jukeboxes and computer jukebox networks. Of particular note, the Court construed "song selection means" in USPN 5,355,302 (the "’302 patent") as a keyboard separate from a display for generating a signal representing a song selected from the set of songs stored in the jukebox. Plaintiffs sought a construction that would include a visual touchscreen, arguing that the Court should consider the following language from an unrelated patent by the same patentee (the "’398 patent"), that was not part of the patent in suit or its prosecution history: "song selection means displayed on said visual screen." Plaintiffs argued that this language showed that "song selection means" could include on-screen displays. But the Court held that considering the language was not permissible and that, even if it were, the language only showed that the inventors were capable of claiming an on-screen display, but chose not to in the ‘302 patent.
* You can read more about this case in the Blog’s archives.