Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
TM PATENTS v. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES
November 8, 1999
TM PATENTS, L.P AND TM CREDITORS, L.L.C., PLAINTIFF,
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMAHON, District Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER FOLLOWING MARKMAN HEARING
Plaintiffs TM Patents, a Delaware limited partnership formed
under the Plan of Reorganization of Thinking Machines Corporation
("Thinking Machines") for the purpose of recovering for
infringement of the corporation's patents, and TM Creditors, a
Delaware limited liability corporation that represents the
interests of the bankrupt's unsecured creditors, are shared
successors-in-interest to the patent estate of Thinking Machines,
a developer and manufacturer of computers and computer peripheral
equipment. Plaintiffs commenced this action against defendant
IBM, alleging that certain IBM products infringed three of TM's
patents: Patent No. 5,202,979 (the '979 patent); Patent No.
4,899,342 (the '342 patent); and Patent No. 5,212,773 (the '773
patent). The first two patents relate to technologies for storage
of data in computers and the detection and correction of errors
in such data; the third deals with a strategy for routing
communications in massively parallel processors.
The matter is before the Court for construction of the three
patents in suit, as required by Markman v. Westview Instruments,
Inc., 517 U.S. 370, 116 S.Ct. 1384, 134 L.Ed.2d 577 (1996).
After extensive briefing, the parties presented their respective
contentions concerning patent construction in light of intrinsic
evidence to the Court at a hearing conducted September 8 and 9,
1999. The hearing was attended by, inter alia, Professor Jack
Lipovski, who had previously been appointed as the Court's
disinterested expert and technical advisor. (See Order dated
July 21, 1999.) The September hearing was limited to issues of
intrinsic evidence because, in determining the meaning of the
patent claims, the Court must first examine such evidence —
including the claims themselves, the specification, and the
prosecution history — and determine whether it can derive an
unambiguous construction of the claim language from those
sources. See Vitronics Corp. v. Conceptronic, Inc.,
90 F.3d 1576, 1582 (Fed.Cir. 1996). As Judge Conner of this Court
recently observed, "If this intrinsic evidence permits an
unambiguous construction of the claim language, the Court need
not, and indeed should not, consider extrinsic evidence, such as
testimony from expert witnesses as to special meanings which the
terms of the claims have for those skilled in the art." Evans
Medical Ltd. v. American Cyanamid Company, 11 F. Supp.2d 338, 347
(S.D.N.Y. 1998) (citing Vitronics, 90 F.3d at 1585), aff'd,
Nos. 98-1440, 98-1459, 1999 WL 594310 (Fed.Cir. Aug. 9, 1999).
Extrinsic evidence should only be relied upon where necessary to
resolve an ambiguity in a disputed claim term. See CVI/Beta
Ventures, Inc. v. Tura, L.P., 112 F.3d 1146, 1153 (Fed.Cir.
Finding the intrinsic evidence sufficient for Markman
purposes, the Court construes the patents as set forth below.
The first patent in suit is a patent for a computer system that
has as one of its properties the ability both to detect and to
correct errors in data that is stored in the computer. The
salient features of the system are its use of an error correction
code ("ECC") that has the capacity not just to detect errors in
data but to correct them as well, and spare disk drives that
"back up" the corrected data, so that there are always two copies
in the system.
The disk storage array described in the specifications for the
'342 patent consists of 32 dedicated data disks and 7 dedicated
ECC disks. In addition, there are 3 spare disks in the array. The
disk storage array is connected to a computer by a 64-bit bus, or
conductor, along which data is transmitted. The bus is in turn
connected to a specialized bus adapter, including an ECC
generation circuit, within the array. The bus adapter is thus
connected to the disk drive. During transmission of data to the
disk array, a 64-bit wide data stream enters the adapter and is
split into two 32-bit groups. Each of these 32-bit groups is
transmitted to the ECC generation chip to generate a 7-bit ECC.
Thereafter, each block of 32 bits and the accompanying ECC bits
are sent to all 39 disks in the array through 39 shift registers
(computer hardware elements designed to perform shifting of the
data contained within them). Data is stored in what is referred
to as "bit-striped mode," meaning that one bit of each of the
32-bit groups of data is stored separately on each of the 32 disk
The 32 data bits and ECC bits are sent together from all 39
disks in the array via the shift registers to a specialized bus
adapter, where, using the data and error correction code, the ECC
generation circuit chip performs an error detection and
correction function on the data bits and delivers the corrected
data to the computer. If there is a disk drive failure, the
corrected data can be accessed from the spare disk.
The claims in the '342 patent that require construction are
Claims 1, 6, 7 and 10.
1. Collateral Estoppel Effects from the EMC Action
TM's suit against IBM is not the first infringement action to
reach the stage of a Markman hearing in a federal District
Court. In 1997, TM also sued a competitor of IBM, EMC
Corporation, in a case heard by Chief Judge William G. Young in
the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts. See TM Patents v.. EMC Corp., Civil Action No.
98-10206 (D.Mass. Jan. 27, 1999). The case went to trial earlier
this year. Immediately prior to the trial, Chief Judge Young held
a Markman hearing, at which he was asked to construe some, but
not all, of the claims disputed in this Court. Judge Young did
so, after a two day hearing. IBM asserts that TM is either
collaterally or judicially estopped to relitigate the claims that
Judge Young construed — with which constructions IBM (a non-party
to the EMC action) is in substantial (though not total)
agreement. TM argues that Judge Young's rulings, while correct in
many respects and perhaps persuasive in others, ought not be
accorded former adjudication effect, because the EMC action
settled during trial, and because Judge Young's rulings were not
sufficiently "final" to be deemed preclusive.
IBM is correct. While this raises an issue of first impression,
I conclude that Judge Young's resolution of the meaning of
certain disputed patent terms following a Markman hearing, at
which TM had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the meaning
of those terms, is binding on the Plaintiffs in this action.
Collateral estoppel forecloses litigants from contesting
matters that were actually litigated and decided in a previous
action. See Blonder-Tongue Lab. Inc. v. University of Illinois
Foundation, 402 U.S. 313, 329, 91 S.Ct. 1434, 28 L.Ed.2d 788
(1971). Four elements must be met for collateral estoppel to
apply. First, the issues raised in both proceedings must be
identical. Second, the relevant issues must have actually been
litigated and decided in the prior proceeding. Third, the party
to be estopped must have had a full and fair opportunity to
litigate the issues in that prior proceeding. And fourth,
resolution of the issues must have been necessary to support a
valid and final judgment on the merits. See Central Hudson Gas &
Elec. Corp. v. Empresa Naviera Santa, 56 F.3d 359, 368 (2d Cir.
The parties before me agree that the first and third of those
four elements are met in this case. They disagree, however, as to
whether the second and fourth have been satisfied. Since in this
particular case, the fourth element (finality) subsumes the
second (actually decided), I will address them together.
As to the fourth element, TM notes that the dispute between it
and EMC concerning the meaning of certain terms in the '342
patent was never reduced to a final judgment, because the matter
was settled before the jury had returned its verdict on the
question of infringement. TM adopts the simple and
straightforward position that no final, appealable judgment means
no finality for collateral estoppel purposes. Unfortunately for
TM, that is not the law in this Circuit (or any other, for that
matter). Since Judge Friendly's seminal opinion in Lummus Co. v.
Commonwealth Oil Ref. Co., 297 F.2d 80, 89 (2d Cir. 1961), it
has been settled that a judgment that is not "final" in the sense
28 U.S.C. § 1291 can nonetheless be considered "final" in the
sense of precluding further litigation of issues that were
actually determined in such a judgment. Whether a ruling is
sufficiently final turns on "such factors as the nature of the
decision (i.e., that it was not avowedly tentative), the adequacy
of the hearing, and the opportunity for review." See id. As
Judge Friendly observed, "`Finality' in the context here relevant
may mean little more than that the litigation of a particular
issue has reached such a stage that a court sees no really good
reason for permitting it to be litigated again." Id.; see also
Zdanok v. Glidden Co., Durkee Famous Foods Div., 327 F.2d 944,
955 (2d Cir. 1964); Metromedia Co. v. Fugazy, 983 F.2d 350, 366
(2d Cir. 1992).
The Lummus principle is illustrated by Georgakis v. Eastern
Air Lines, Inc., 512 F. Supp. 330 (E.D.N.Y. 1981). In
Georgakis, the plaintiff, who was injured in an airplane crash
while traveling with the defendant airline, sought summary
judgment on the airline's affirmative defense that the case was
covered by the Warsaw Convention, which would have limited the
plaintiff's damages to $75,000. In a prior case arising out of
the same crash brought by a different passenger, the court had
granted summary judgment against the airline, dismissing the
Warsaw Convention defense. The passenger in Georgakis invoked
collateral estoppel. Rejecting the airline's argument that the
interlocutory nature of the earlier decision precluded
application of collateral estoppel, the court noted that
collateral estoppel "does not require a judgment `which ends the
litigation . . . and leaves nothing for the court to do but
execute the judgment,' . . . but includes many dispositions
which, although not final in that sense, have nevertheless been
fully litigated." Id. at 334 (quoting Zdanok, 327 F.2d at
The parties have not called my attention to any case in which a
court has applied collateral estoppel to bar relitigation of
claims construction issues decided at a prior Markman hearing,
and I have not located any such decisions. Nonetheless, that
proposition seems self-evident.
Markman ushered in a new regime in patent claims
construction. Prior to the Federal Circuit's ruling in 1995,
disputes concerning the meaning of patent claims were submitted
to a jury along with questions about validity and infringement.
Thus, until there was a final judgment after a jury verdict,
there was no construction of claims, see, e.g., Tol-O-Matic,
Inc. v. Proma Produkt-Und-Marketing Gesellschaft, m.b.H.,
945 F.2d 1546 (Fed.Cir. 1991), and hence, no finality for collateral
estoppel purposes. However, after Markman, claim construction
became a separate legal issue, for determination by the Court.
The parties frequently litigate the meaning of those limitations
prior to the trial, as occurred in both EMC and this case, so
that the Court can instruct the jury on the meaning of the patent
at the outset of the case. Moreover, the Court limits itself to
construing that which is necessary to the resolution of the
questions of infringement and validity. The jury is not free to
override the Court's construction of the disputed terms. It is
hard to see how much more "final" a determination can be.
A verdict would not have changed anything about Judge Young's
Markman rulings. Nothing more remained to be adjudicated;
nothing more remained to be decided on the issue of claim
construction. The application of the claim to the product was
immaterial to the finality of Judge Young's determinations. Thus,
under Lummus and its progeny, the results of the Markman
hearing in the EMC action were sufficiently "final" to permit
application of collateral estoppel — even though the matter to
which they were necessary was never reduced to a final judgment
after verdict. See also Restatement (Second) of Judgments § 13,
comment e (1980) ("A judgment may be final in a res judicata
sense as to part of an action although the litigation continues
as to the rest."); Sherman v. Jacobson, 247 F. Supp. 261, 268
(S.D.N.Y. 1965) (noting that a judgment "may be final as to some
matters, even though the litigation continues as to
It bears noting that one of the Supreme Court's rationales for
upholding the Federal circuit's ground-breaking decision in
Markman was the promotion of uniformity in the meaning to be
given to a patent claim. See Markman, 517 U.S. at 390-91, 116
S.Ct. 1384. Even prior to Markman, the Federal Circuit had held
that determination of the scope of a patent claim in a prior
infringement action could have collateral estoppel effect
against the patentee in a subsequent case. See Pfaff v. Wells
Elec. Inc., 5 F.3d 514, 517-18 (1993). After Markman, with its
requirement that the Court construe the patent for the jury as a
matter of law, it is inconceivable that a fully-litigated
determination after a first Markman hearing would not be
preclusive in subsequent actions involving the same disputed
claims under the same patent. The nature of the Markman
proceeding is such that finality is its aim.
TM contends that Judge Young's determinations were "avowedly
tentative" for several reasons. None is persuasive.
First, Judge Young expressed the view that he was "shaky" about
several of his conclusions, and indicated that they were "subject
to revision." (Joint Appendix on the Issues of Collateral
Estoppel and Claim Construction at A 14-15.) Of course, a Court
does not vitiate the collateral estoppel effect of a ruling by
expressing some doubt about its conclusions. See Restatement
(Second) of Judgments § 13, comment g ("The test of finality . .
. is whether the conclusion in question is procedurally definite
and not whether the court might have had doubts in reaching the
decision"); United States v. McGann, 951 F. Supp. 372, 380-81
(E.D.N.Y. 1997). However, Judge Young made these statements while
inviting the parties to move for reconsideration if they
disagreed with his constructions (a procedure this Court is not
inclined to emulate). The parties accepted his invitation — in
particular, TM asked for reconsideration of several issues that
all parties believe are key to the question of infringement.
Notably, Judge Young ceased to feel "shaky" after further
briefing and argument, telling the parties, "You've got the claim
construction, you're going to have to live with it." (A 23-23.1.)
Plaintiffs next argue that the Markman constructions were
never reviewed by a higher Court — a not insignificant
proposition when nearly 40 percent of claims constructions are
changed or overturned by the Federal Circuit. See Cybor Corp. v.
FAS Technologies., Inc., 138 F.3d 1448, 1476 (Fed.Cir. 1998)
(Rader, J., dissenting). However, the only reason Judge Young's
conclusions were not reviewed on appeal is that the case was
settled. A party who cuts off his right to review by settling a
disputed matter cannot complain that the question was never
reviewed on appeal. The Markman rulings were not vacated as
part of the settlement. They therefore remain preclusive. See
Hartley v. Mentor Corp., 869 F.2d 1469, 1472-73 (Fed.Cir. 1989);
Wellons, Inc. v. T.E. Ibberson Co., 869 F.2d 1166, 1169 (8th
Cir. 1989); Siemens Med. Sys., Inc. v. Nuclear Cardiology Sys.,
Inc. 945 F. Supp. 1421, 1436 (D.Colo. 1996); Ossman v. Diana
Corp., 825 F. Supp. 870, 878 (D.Minn. 1993).*fn2
Fourth, TM argues that a Markman adjudication cannot be
preclusive prior to verdict because there is no requirement that
a Court construe the claims in suit prior to giving its final
instruction to the jury. Indeed, it appears to be the practice in
at least one federal district court to hold the Markman hearing
during the trial, with the Court issuing its ruling when it
instructs the jury at the close of the case. See, e.g., Johns
Hopkins Univ. v. Cellpro, 894 F. Supp. 819, 826 (D.Del. 1995). Of
course, if Judge Young had followed such a procedure, then there
would be no issue preclusion from the EMC case. But he did not.
He held a two day hearing, following which he issued a ruling
construing the claims. He then heard reargument and fine-tuned
his ruling, telling the parties to "live with it." He read the
ruling to the jury and handed each juror a copy. The fact that he
could have done otherwise does not vitiate the preclusive effects
of what he actually did. Had Judge Young followed the Delaware
procedure and announced his Markman ruling at the close of the
evidence, only to see the case settle while the jury was
deliberating, I have no doubt that his views about the meaning of
the disputed claims would be just as preclusive as if they had
been announced prior to trial. The fact that the judge makes the
ruling is sufficient under Lummus; when he does so is
The cases TM cites for the proposition that the collateral
estoppel effects from claim construction should be narrowly
limited to matters that were essential to a judgment (of validity
or infringement) — cases such as Jackson Jordan, Inc. v. Plasser
Amer. Corp., 747 F.2d 1567 (Fed. Cir. 1984); A.B. Dick Co. v.
Burroughs Corp., 713 F.2d 700 (Fed.Cir. 1983); and
Studiengesellschaft Kohle v. Eastman Kodak Co., 616 F.2d 1315
(5th Cir. 1980) — are inapplicable in the post-Markman era, at
least when the district court holds a special pre-trial hearing,
as Chief Judge Young did in the EMC case. These authorities were
decided at a time when patent claims were construed during jury
deliberations. It therefore made perfect sense to limit the
collateral estoppel effects emanating from a jury's judgment on
issues of validity and infringement to matters
of claim construction that were necessarily comprehended in the
verdict. That rule makes no sense when a court, acting as a
matter of law, draws binding conclusions about the meaning of
disputed patent terms for the benefits of the litigants and the
jurors. Even the one post-Markman case cited by TM for this
proposition, Phonometrics, Inc. v. Northern Telecom, Inc.,
133 F.3d 1459 (Fed.Cir. 1998), is not inconsistent with the principle
adopted by this Court. Although the Phonometrics case was
decided after Markman, it followed an earlier decision that was
not given preclusive effect and was decided several years before
Markman. See Intellicall, Inc. v. Phonometrics, Inc.,
952 F.2d 1384 (Fed. Cir. 1992).
Finally, TM argues that a recent Federal Circuit case,
Odetics, Inc. v. Storage Tech. Corp., 185 F.3d 1259 (Fed.Cir.
1999), worked a change in the law and demonstrated that some of
Judge Young's rulings were erroneous. To that extent, TM
contends, collateral estoppel ought not be applied, since it
would be clear error to give preclusive effect to a ruling that
was entered prior to "a significant change in the legal
atmosphere." Bingaman v. Department of the Treasury,
127 F.3d 1431, 1437-38 (Fed.Cir. 1997), citing Commissioner v. Sunnen,
333 U.S. 591, 600, 68 S.Ct. 715, 92 L.Ed. 898 (1948).
TM is correct about the legal principle, but incorrect when it
asserts that Odetics worked a change in the law. The Odetics
opinion cited above was the eighth and most recent in the
protracted Odetics litigation. In that decision, the Federal
Circuit did not address the issue of claim construction, as TM
asserts, but rather reviewed the trial court's infringement
decision, notably, its comparison of the accused product with the
previously construed patent claim (construed under the
means-plus-function limitation). The claim limitation was
construed in an earlier decision, Odetics, Inc. v. Storage Tech.
Corp., 1997 WL 357598 (Fed.Cir. Jun. 25, 1997). Thus, the recent
Odetics ruling did not work any change in the law with respect
to that issue, although the decision will prove relevant to some
of the issues of construction on claims that are not subject to
If "finality" in the collateral estoppel context "mean[s]
little more than that the litigation of a particular issue has
reached such a stage that the court sees no really good reason
for permitting it to be litigated again," Lummus, 297 F.2d at
89, I see no reason to permit TM a second chance to litigate the
meaning of the claims previously construed by Judge Young.
Therefore, I hold that collateral estoppel forecloses TM from
relitigating the meaning of limitations (ii), (iii), (vii) and
(viii) of Claim 1, and the corresponding limitations (i), (iii)
and (iv) of Claim 7, see infra at part 2(c). The other claims
in dispute before me were not disputed in Massachusetts, and TM
is free to argue for any interpretation of those limitations
here. And, of course, IBM is not precluded from litigating
anything at all. So there is plenty for this Court to decide from
Finally, I have to observe that this issue of collateral
estoppel, which has taken on a life of its own in this action (no
doubt due to my preoccupation with it), is of marginal practical
importance, because I agree with just about everything Judge
Young did when he construed the claims in the EMC action.
Nonetheless, I have no doubt that collateral estoppel would apply
against TM on the previously litigated claims even if I thought
everything Judge Young decided was wrong. This does not, however,
mean that I agree with all the "gloss" that IBM puts on certain
key rulings by Judge Young, a point which I discuss further
IBM has relied upon two other issue preclusion theories,
judicial estoppel and party admissions under Fed.R.Evid. 801(d).
It is not necessary for me to reach those arguments, although I
do note that IBM's invocation of judicial estoppel is improper,
as that doctrine applies only to inconsistent factual positions,
not to issues
of law. See Bates v. Long Island RR Co., 997 F.2d 1028, 1037
(2d Cir. 1993); TLC Beatrice Int'l Holdings, Inc. v. CIGNA Ins.
Co., 1999 WL 33454 at *7 (S.D.N.Y. Jan.27, 1999).
2. Construction of the Disputed Claims in the '342 Patent
Before going to the individual disputed claims, I observe that
the '342 patent does not seem to me a particularly difficult
patent to construe. For the most part, the words are clear and
unambiguous and can be given their plain meaning. My reading of
Judge Young's decision is that he did precisely that, and I have
no fundamental disagreement with any of his conclusions.
Most of what IBM asks me to overlay onto Judge Young's prior
construction of Claim 1 (which is where the disputed issues
arise) derives from the patent specification. IBM takes the
position that the only invention disclosed in the patent
application was the preferred embodiment, in all its detail.
However, IBM overlooks settled rules of patent construction that
are discussed below. Absent an indication that the plain terms of
the patent were not intended to control, I decline to follow
IBM's suggested approach to interpretation of the claims.
(a) Claim No. 1 (Independent Claim): Disputed Limitations
(i) 1. A multi-unit memory system comprising:
This claim, which was not disputed before Judge Young, means
precisely what the words say. "A multi-unit memory system" is "a"
(that is to say, one, or a single) system that uses two or more
data storage memory units. Of course, the fact that the patent
claims "a" system does not mean that IBM or some other party
would escape liability for infringement by constructing two or
three or even more such multi-unit memory systems and somehow
linking them together or causing them to operate together.
There is no reason to read anything further into the very
simple words used by the claimant. There is no mention of a
"single array" in the patent claim, and I decline to adopt IBM's
suggestion that I read such a limitation into the claim, applying
the settled principle of patent construction that the language of
the claim defines its scope, see Mantech Environmental Corp. v.
Hudson Environmental Servs., Inc., 152 F.3d 1368, 1373 (Fed.Cir.
1998), and that the words of a claim are to be construed in
accordance with their ordinary meaning to persons in the relevant
field of technology, unless it appears that the inventor used
them otherwise. See Bell Communications Research, Inc., v.
Vitalink Communications Corp., 55 F.3d 615, 620 (Fed.Cir. 1995).
In particular, claims are not to be limited or construed by
reading in extraneous words from written descriptions or
specifications that are not contained in the claims themselves.
See Laitram Corp. v. NEC Corp., 163 F.3d 1342, 1347 (Fed.Cir.
1998). This rule is not inconsistent with the principle that
claims should be construed in light of the patent specification,
see, e.g., Bell Communications, 55 F.3d at 620, but simply
recognizes that the claims of a patent are not limited to the
preferred embodiment that is described in the specifications.
See Ekchian v. Home Depot, Inc., 104 F.3d 1299, 1303 (Fed.Cir.
Throughout this proceeding, IBM has contorted the plain meaning
of words and phrases used in the patent claims themselves by
referring to the written description, including the
specifications and the embodiment disclosed therein. In
construing this patent (and, indeed, all three patents), I have
adopted the principle that, where the language of the claim is
clear and unambiguous, I will read nothing additional into it. If
this means that the patent turns out to be invalid (which is a
decision for the jury, not for the Court), then so be it.
Although courts are to construe claims so as to sustain a
patent's validity where possible, see ACS Hosp.
Systems, Inc. v. Montefiore Hosp., 732 F.2d 1572, 1577
(Fed.Cir. 1984), courts are nonetheless bound to follow the other
rules of construction discussed above. See id.
(ii) . . . an error correction code generation
circuit which generates for each block of data to be
stored in said memory system an error correction
code, . . .
(iii) . . . each block of data comprising a first
plurality of digits and each error correcting code
comprising a second plurality of digits from which at
least one digit of error may be detected and
corrected in the block of data . . .
This is the first claim that is affected by collateral estoppel
from Judge Young's decision. In the EMC case, Judge Young
construed this claim language as follows: "[Error correction code
generation circuit] means a single integrated circuit which
generates the claimed error correction code . . . Data, as I have
already said, is information. Here, the data is in the form of
digits. A block of data, as used in this phrase, means a group of
data bits which may be corrected by another group of bits called
error correction bits. The data is information to be stored in
the computer." (A 17.)
This construction, relying as it does on the plain meaning of
the words used in the claims limitation, is plainly correct. The
only arguably unclear term used by Judge Young is his definition
for the phrase "error correction code circuit," which he defined
as a "single integrated circuit which generated the claimed error
correction code." (A 17.) The words "single integrated circuit"
do not appear in the claim, and TM urges that Judge Young erred
in so limiting its claim.
Putting to one side the fact that TM is collaterally estopped
to challenge Judge Young's ruling, TM is simply incorrect. The
limitation refers to "an" — i.e., one — error correction code
circuit. In other words, the literal language of the claim calls
for one circuit that generates an error correction code. The
patent specification discloses that this circuit was a single
integrated circuit — that is, ". . . an interconnected array of
active and passive elements integrated with a single
semiconductor substrate or deposited on the substrate by a
continuous series of compatible processes, and capable of
performing at least one complete electronic circuit function."
McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (3d.
ed. 1984). Judge Young did not err when he restricted the claim
in limitation (ii) to error correction code circuits that
generated the correcting digit via a single integrated circuit.
That said, I can think of ways to phrase parts of the
interpretation that might be easier for a jury to understand, and
I do not understand the doctrine of collateral estoppel to
require me to quote Judge Young verbatim. I will, therefore,
rephrase it as follows:
The multi-unit memory system I have just described
contains a single integrated circuit that is called
the error correction code circuit. What does this
circuit do? It generates — that is, it creates —
something called an error correction code, which is a
group of mathematically interrelated bits. It creates
one of these ...