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Parallel Networks, LLC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 01-16-2013
Case #: 2012-1227
Prost, Bryson, Wallach
Full Text Opinion: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=16861580818713235170

Patents: To demonstrate literal infringement, the plaintiff must show that the defendant infringed every claim limitation.

Opinion (Bryson): Parallel Networks (Parallel) sued 120 defendants claiming they literally infringed its patent, No. 6,446,111, covering a method and apparatus for client-server communications over a low speed link through their websites, providing applets in response to user requests. Due to the number of defendants and “Parallel’s stated strategy of trying to extract an early settlement from as many defendants as possible,” the district court held a Markman hearing to construe three terms in two claims which would be dispositive for all defendants. The district court construed the “dynamically generated” term to require that both the functionality and data necessary for the applet to function be contained in the applet. Because most of the defendants’ accused instrumentalities stored functional code or necessary data as a link, and therefore did not contain the necessary functionality or data to meet the requirements of that term, the district court granted summary judgment for those defendants. Parallel appealed. Consulting Webster’s dictionary, the court determined that the district court’s constructions were correct. Because Parallel conceded that each of the defendants’ websites were missing at least some portion of code or data when the applet was transmitted, and because the court’s construction required all the code and data be present in the applet when it was transmitted, the Federal Circuit AFFIRMED the district court’s grant of summary judgment.