Costar Realty Info., Inc. v. CIVIX-DDI, LLC, Nos. 12 C 4968, 7091 & 8632, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 23, 2013) (Holderman, Sen. J.).

Judge Holderman construed the disputed claim terms in this patent case involving methods of locating points of interest in a geographic region by accessing a remote database.  Before construing the claims, the Court noted the uncertainty regarding the preclusive effect of prior district court constructions with some courts holding prior constructions should be deferred to absent clear error and other courts considering them merely instructive.  The Court held that other opinions were not controlling based upon the Supreme Court’s statements in Markman that making claim construction a matter of law would not create consistency, even within a single district.  Of particular note, were the following constructions:

  • “The request containing (a) at least one user-selected category and (b) a user-selected geographic vicinity” was” construed as “the request containing, in a single electronic representation, (a) at least one user-selected category and (b) a user-selected geographic vicinity”;
  • “Advertising information about a business” was construed as “paid promotion of a business name, service, or product”;
  • “Advertisements” was construed as “paid promotions”;
  • “Database” was construed as “a collection of related information organized for convenient access”;
  • “Geographical/geographic position” was construed as “a specific location within a geographic vicinity”;
  • “Wherein a user at the port may locate the one item of interest” was construed “so that a user at the port has sufficient information to locate an item of interest”;
  • “Spatial detail” was construed as “a system of linked computer networks, world-wide in scope that typically is associated with using TCP/IP as a standard protocol.”
  • “At a database, receiving at least in part through the Internet, a request from one of a plurality of ports” did not require construction; and
  • “Determining, at the database, a plurality of advertisements in response to the request . . .  from the database, transmitting, at least in part through the Internet, the response to the port” did not require a construction.