Nuance, the patent owner, appeals two issues. First, Nuance contends that the district court erred in construing the claim term “identifying” to have its plain and ordinary meaning. At the Markman hearing, Nuance argued that the term should have its plain and ordinary meaning, arguing that nothing in the specification warranted a departure from the plain and ordinary meaning. Later, after the court agreed with Nuance, the parties disputed what the plain and ordinary meaning of “identifying” was. In response, the court made no changes to its construction and instructed the jury that “identifying” means “to establish the identity of,” which was the dictionary meaning of “identifying” proposed by Abbyy. The Federal Circuit affirmed the court’s construction for “identifying” based on the fact that it was Nuance who originally proposed that the court adopt the plain and ordinary meaning. It further held that Nuance was not entitled to a new trial because, given the evidence, it is clear that correcting the claim construction would not have changed the result.
Second, the district court adopted a case management order that required Nuance to limit the number of patents and claims that would be tried, and then after the jury’s verdict of non-infringement, entering judgment against Nuance on all of the patents asserted in the case, even those it did not include at trial. The Federal Circuit held that the district court did not err by entering judgment on all patents, even those that were not presented at trial, because the court made clear that in its case management order that this was how it wished to proceed. Nuance’s counsel made statements to the court in which it appeared to agree with these procedures and it never filed a motion or otherwise objected to the procedures. Nuance further never demonstrated that the unselected patents raised unique infringement questions.
Nuance Communications, Inc. v. Abbyy USA Software House, Inc., Case Nos. 2014-1629, -1630 (February 22, 2016); Opinion by: Prost, joined by Dyk and Chen; Appealed From: United States District Court for the Northern District of California, White, J. Read the full opinion here.