Microsoft requested inter partes reviews of two patents owned by Bradium. The patents were directed to retrieving large-scale images over network communication channels in low bandwidth conditions. The cited art disclosed optimizing delivery of large-scale terrain images and disclosed that such delivery systems are generally designed for “high-speed network connections such as a gigabit-per-second network,” which involves a broadband connection whose bandwidth is temporarily limited due to high user loads.
Bradium argued that the claim term “limited bandwidth communications channel” should be construed narrowly to mean “a narrowband communications channel,” which is “limited in bandwidth due to technical constructs on the channel itself,” and does not include a broadband channel, like the one disclosed in the cited art. On the other hand, Microsoft argued that the claim term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning of “a communication channel whose bandwidth is limited” which includes a broadband channel whose bandwidth is temporarily limited due to high user loads.
The Board rejected Bradium’s construction, adopted Microsoft’s construction, and invalidated Bradium’s patents over the cited art. Bradium challenged the Board’s construction on appeal but later settled with Microsoft. The USPTO intervened to defend its conclusion.
Did the Board err in construing the term “limited bandwidth communication channel”? (continue reading)
Summary by: Ashley Yeum
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