Digesting the Vringo Markman Hearing

by Kris_Tuttle on June 19, 2012

[Warn­ing label — I am not a lawyer and have no spe­cific infor­ma­tion about this case. In fact I’m really not qual­i­fied to write about it. But that seems to stop nobody these days. ;-) I also don’t have any posi­tions in any of the stocks men­tioned here.]

The awaited results of the Vringo “Mark­man” hear­ing rip­pled through the mar­ket in the last day or so as Vringo stock ($VRNG) started to rise again. Since this is such a high stakes soap opera I decided to take a lit­tle time to go through the courts “Mem­o­ran­dum Opin­ion and Order” which was filed with the SEC by the com­pany. It’s already said that the result was a win for Vringo with a score of 4–2 but I wanted to know more.

First of all some bad news for fol­low­ers of this saga — the 23 page doc­u­ment is con­cerned with the mean­ings of terms and the con­struc­tion of claims. That means that it’s a long and nuanced dis­cus­sion of what spe­cific terms like “a scan­ning sys­tem” actu­ally mean down to minu­tia is scan­ning through infor­ma­tion or merely scan­ning across a net­work. My sum­mary and analy­sis fol­lows but if you really want to get the full effect you should read the full document.

So what’s with deal with “terms?” As you’ll see in the analy­sis the legal def­i­n­i­tion of what terms mean can play a piv­otal role in deter­min­ing whether or not there is actu­ally infringe­ment. For exam­ple let’s say I patented step-by-step instruc­tions with a spe­cific order to whiten teeth. If some­one used these instruc­tions but in a dif­fer­ent order I would have a hard time assert­ing infringe­ment since my patent cov­ers a spe­cific order. It’s not black and white but you get the idea.

The Argu­ments

There were four undis­puted terms included “infor­mon” (a unit of infor­ma­tion), “user” (thank good­ness!), “rel­e­vance to the query” (how well the infor­ma­tion sat­is­fies) and “query” (request for search results.)

There were six dis­puted terms:

Please login (reg­is­tra­tion is free) to see the rest.

Fur­ther Reading:

If you haven’t seen it the orig­i­nal match to the flame came on March 31st with this post by James Altucher on TechCrunch: Why Google Might Be Going to $0

There are more links to this so please share in com­ments if you have them and they will be added.


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