TECHNOLOGY PROPERTIES LIMITED LLC, PHOENIX DIGITAL SOLUTIONS LLC, PATRIOT SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION, Plaintiffs-Appellants
HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD., FUTUREWEI TECHNOLOGIES, INC., HUAWEI DEVICE CO., LTD., HUAWEI DEVICE USA INC., HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES USA INC., ZTE CORPORATION, ZTE USA, INC., SAMSUNG ELECTRONIC CO., LTD, SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC., LG ELECTRONICS, INC., LG ELECTRONICS U.S.A., INC., NINTENDO CO., LTD, NINTENDO OF AMERICA, INC., Defendants-Appellees
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California in Nos. 3:12-cv-03865-VC,
3:12-cv-03876-VC, 3:12-cv-03877-VC, 3:12-cv-03880-VC,
3:12-cv-03881-VC, Judge Vince Chhabria.
Cecil, Nelson Bumgardner PC, Fort Worth, TX, argued for all
plaintiffs-appellants. Plaintiff-appellant Phoenix Digital
Solutions LLC also represented by Barry James Bumgardner,
Brent N. Bumgardner, Edward R. Nelson, III; Travis Campbell,
Robert Greenspoon, Flachsbart & Greenspoon, LLC, Chicago,
James Bumgardner, Nelson Bumgardner PC, Fort Worth, TX, for
plaintiff-appellant Technology Propertied Limited, LLC. Also
represented by William L. Bretschneider, Silicon Valley Law
Group, San Jose, CA.
Charles Thomas Hoge, Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP, San
Diego, CA, for plaintiff-appellant Patriotic Scientific
D. Fowler, DLA Piper U.S. LLP, East Palo Alto, CA, argued for
all defendants-appellees. Defendants-appellees Samsung
Electronic Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. also
represented by Erik Ryan Fuehrer, Aaron Wainscoat; James
Martin Heintz, Reston, VA; Stanley Joseph Panikowski, III,
Robert Chen Williams, San Diego, CA.
Timothy C. Bickham, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, Washington,
DC, for defendants-appellees Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.,
Futurewei Technologies, Inc., Huawei Device Co., Ltd., Huawei
Device USA Inc., Huawei Technologies USA Inc.
Charles M. McMahon, McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, Chicago,
IL, for defendants-appellees ZTE Corporation, ZTE USA, Inc.
Also represented by Hersh H. Mehta.
Christian A. Chu, Fish & Richardson, PC, Washington, DC,
for defendants-appellees LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics
U.S.A., Inc. Also represented by Scott Andrew Elengold.
Stephen R. Smith, Cooley LLP, Washington, DC, for
defendants-appellees Nintendo Co., Ltd., Nintendo of America,
Inc. Also represented by Matthew J. Brigham, Palo Alto, CA.
Moore, Wallach, and Chen, Circuit Judges.
present appeals arise from five cases in the Northern
District of California. Technology Properties Limited LLC,
Phoenix Digital Solutions LLC, and Patriot Scientific Corp.
(collectively "Technology Properties") asserted
U.S. Patent No. 5, 809, 336 (the "'336 patent")
against Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Futurewei
Technologies, Inc., Huawei Device Co., Ltd., Huawei Device
USA Inc., Huawei Technologies USA Inc., ZTE Corp., ZTE USA,
Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics
America, Inc., LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics U.S.A.,
Inc., Nintendo Co., Ltd., and Nintendo of America Inc.
(collectively "Appellees") in five separate
litigations. After claim construction, the parties stipulated
to non-infringement based on the district court's
construction of "an entire oscillator disposed upon said
integrated circuit substrate." Technology Properties
appealed, and our court consolidated the appeals. Because the
district court erred in a portion of its construction of
"entire oscillator, " we vacate and remand.
'336 patent discloses a microprocessor with two
independent clocks-a variable frequency system clock
connected to the central processing unit ("CPU")
and a fixed-frequency clock connected to the input/output
("I/O") interface. '336 patent at 3:26-35. The
variable-frequency system clock is a ring oscillator.
Id. at 16:56-57. A ring oscillator is made by
connecting an odd number of inverters in series, then
connecting the output of the final inverter to the input of
the first, creating an inherently unstable (i.e.,
oscillating) output. Id. at Fig. 18. A ring
oscillator's frequency is considered "variable"
because it fluctuates based on external stressors such as
temperature and voltage. Id. at 16:59-67. For
example, the same circuit will oscillate at 100 MHz at room
temperature but only 50 MHz at 70 degrees Celsius.
'336 patent's I/O clock is a quartz crystal.
Id. at 17:25-27. A crystal is a piece of material
that oscillates at a specific frequency when voltage is
applied. Unlike ring oscillators, crystals maintain a steady
frequency regardless of their environment. For this reason,
the I/O clock in the '336 patent is considered
"fixed." See id. at 17:33 (describing the
"fixed speed" I/O interface).
'336 patent teaches improving microprocessor performance
by decoupling the CPU and I/O clocks. The variable-speed CPU
clock is fabricated on the same silicon substrate as the rest
of the microprocessor, including the CPU itself. Id.
at 16:57-58. Because the CPU and CPU clock are fabricated on
the same silicon substrate, they react similarly to external
stressors. Id. at 16:63-67. This allows the maximum
processing speed of the CPU to track the oscillating
frequency of its clock. As the patent describes it, the
"CPU 70 will always execute at the maximum frequency
possible, but never too fast." Id. at 17:1-2.
The I/O clock is located off-chip and controls the chip's
I/O interface. "By decoupling the variable speed of the
CPU 70 from the fixed speed of the I/O interface 432, optimum
performance can be achieved by each." Id. at
17:32-34. The two-clock arrangement is illustrated in Figure
Id. at Fig. 17.
of the '336 ...