Egenera, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (16-cv-11613).

Judge Stearns construed a number of claim terms in this dispute in which Egenera accused Cisco of infringing U.S. Patent 7,231,430 (Egenera had previously voluntarily dismissed claims relating to a second patent, to avoid the case being stayed pending inter partes review of the second patent).  The technology at issue relates to the creation of a virtual processing area network that simulates a network of computer processors.  Judge Steans rejected Egenera’s proposed construction of “processor” as the “processing node” described in the specification, because the specification does not clearly set forth a definition of the term that is different from its plain and ordinary meaning.  He also rejected Egenera’s proposed construction of “logic” as “software, firmware, circuitry, or some combination thereof.”  Instead, he found “logic” as used in the claims to refer to the abstract concept of computer operations generally that perform the function recited after the term, and thus to be in means-plus-function format.  Having so determined, however, he disagreed with Cisco that the terms were indefinite, finding sufficient structure in the specification for the various “logic” functions recited in the claims.  Finally, he found in Egenera’s favor on “internal communication network,” determining that even though the network is described as emulating Ethernet functionality, the claimed network is not limited to a non-Ethernet physical network.

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