Google suffers setback at the US Supreme Court in Vederi case related to Google Street View
The Supreme Court's decision not to grant certiorari leaves intact a March 2014 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [CAFC], which threw out a district judge’s finding that Google had not infringed on four different patents of Vederi LLC. The case will now return to lower courts for further proceedings.
The March 2014 decision by then-CJ Rader had noted:
However, the district court erred
in construing “substantially elevations”
without sufficiently considering the
intrinsic evidence in this case.
In this case, the claim language is a
critical part of the record that shows the
error in the trial court’s reading of the claims. T
tive language in this case is “substantially
elevations.” The district court’s construction
requiring elevation, and “elevation” alone
in the strict sense,
gives no effect to the “substantially” modifier
contained in the claims.
“A claim construction that gives meaning to all the terms of the
claim is preferred over one that does not do so.”
Merck & Co., Inc. v. Teva Pharm. USA, Inc., 395 F.3d 1364, 1372
(Fed. Cir. 2005).
By effectively reading “substantially” out the claims, the district court erred
This was a "claim construction" case, not a "doctrine of equivalents" case:
Accordingly, in view of the foregoing, this
court reverses the district court’s claim construction,
vacates its judgment of non-
infringement and remands for further proceedings
consistent with this opinion.
From the past
So things don’t look very promising for Vederi, but we’ll see.
--from Oct. 2014
In November 2011, U.S. Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, who sat by designation in district court, adopted a claim construction for the patents proposed by Google, ruling that Vederi’s patents cover “vertical flat” images rather than curved images like those used in Google Street View.
Largely as a result of that claim construction, the judge ruled in September 2012 that Google had not infringed Vederi’s patents, which he said covered stitched-together flat images rather than spherical ones.
The Federal Circuit held in March that Judge Kozinski had been too strict in his construction of a patent claim that defined Vederi’s images as “substantially elevations,” which is an architectural term for a flat, typically illustrated image of a building.
The Federal Circuit found that the inclusion of the word “substantially” meant that Vederi’s patent claims were not exclusively limited to flat images, and that the trial court had erred by ignoring the word.