Oral Argument of the Month: Timebase v. Thomson

The case of Timebase v. Thomson, App. No. 2012-1082 (Fed. Cir. June 8, 2012) was recently decided by the Federal Circuit via a Rule 36 affirmance.  The oral argument highlighted a couple of interesting issues.  First, how should the word “each” be construed.  Second, does a construction of the word “displaying” that requires the displaying to be performed by a consumer’s computer raise divided infringement issues when an on-line publisher is the party being sued for infringement.  You can listen to the entire oral argument here: [Listen].

Claim 1 of the ‘592 patent at issue reads:

1. A computer-implemented system for publishing an electronic publication using text-based data, comprising:

a plurality of predefined portions of text-based data with each predefined portion being stored;

at least one predefined portion being modified and stored;

a plurality of linking means of a markup language, each predefined portion of said text-based data and said at least one modified predefined portion of text-based data being encoded with at least one linking means; and

a plurality of attributes, each attribute being a point on an axis of a multidimensional space for organising said plurality of predefined portions and said at least one modified predefined portion of said text-based data.

Claim 1 of the 7293228 patent at issue reads:

1. A method for electronically publishing text-based data, the method comprising:

dividing the text-based data into a plurality of portions of text-based data;

obtaining an amended portion of text-based data that is amended relative to one of the plurality of portions of text-based data;

storing each of the plurality of portions of text-based data;

storing the amended portion of text-based data;

providing a plurality of attributes, wherein the attributes define a manner in which the plurality of portions of text-based data and the amended portion of text-based data can be organized, displayed and linked in a multidimensional space;

encoding each of the plurality of portions of text-based data and the amended portion of text-based data with a markup language to include at least one link defined by one of the plurality of attributes;

allowing a user to search the text-based data using at least one of the plurality of attributes; and

displaying the text-based data to the user by:

displaying at least one of the plurality of portions of text-based data or the amended portion of text-based data in response to the search; and

displaying text, and/or one or more selectable links representing at least one additional attribute.

With respect to the word “each,” Judge Newman remarked on her philosophy of construing claim language: [Listen] and [Listen].

See these earlier posts with respect to the word “each”:  [Propecia before and after], [Link], and [Prednisolone].

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