Sonix Tech. Co., Ltd. V. Pubs. Int’l, Ltd., No. 13 C 2082, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 30, 2014) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve construed the disputed terms of the patent in suit in this case regarding graphic indicators on a surface that are not visible to the human eye, but when scanned provide additional information.  The Court held that the following three terms need not be construed, relying upon their plain and ordinary meaning:

  1. Capable of distinguishing the corresponding graphical indicator from adjacent graphical indicators;
  2. Main information that overlaps and co-exists with the graphical micro-units on the surface of the object; and
  3. Content information.

The Court construed “header information” as follows:

  • Information in the graphical indicator that is used to retrieve the graphical indicator and corresponding content information and is capable of (1) distinguishing the corresponding graphical indictor from an adjacent graphical indicator, and (2) indicating the orientation of the corresponding graphical indicator to the optical device.

The Court also provided several charts that are very helpful in quickly understanding the relative positions and the Court’s conclusions.  Before the Court’s analysis of each disputed term, the Court provided a chart listing plaintiff’s proposed construction, defendants’ proposed construction and the Court’s construction.  Additionally, at the end of the opinion, the Court concludes with a chart of its constructions.  This is a great practice and makes the opinion much more readable.