Card Activation Techs., Inc. v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., No. 07 C 1230, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 18, 2008) (Gottschall, J.).
Judge Gottschall denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment of invalidity. Each of plaintiff’s independent claims – covering a counter-top terminal for processing debit card payments – included a “telecommunications means” limitation. The parties agreed that “telecommunications means” was a means plus function limitation. Defendants argued that the “telecommunications means” was indefinite because the patent’s specification did not recite any corresponding telecommunications structure, such as a modem. The Court held that the specification did not disclose any specific telecommunications structure. But the Court held that no structure was required, where one of ordinary skill in the art would know what the structure was based upon the specification, citing Aristocrat Tech. Australia PTY LTD v. Multimedia Games, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2008 WL 484449 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 22, 2008). Relying upon plaintiff’s expert, the Court held that based upon the specification, one of ordinary skill in the art would understand telecommunications means to be a modem.