From the latest ruling -
... the Court will construe "transferring non-negligible amounts of energy from the carrier signal," "sampling the carrier signal . . . to transfer energy," and "transferring a . . . portion of the energy . . . of the carrier signal" to mean "transferring energy in amounts that are distinguishable from noise."
If we revisit what the judge heard Sorrells (the lead inventor) testify under oath during the Tutorial hearing -
Cawley: "Now, you've been talking about this third type of approach that was known to engineers by the late 1990s, the impulse sampler. Is this the only way that people put together impulse samplers?"
Sorrells: "No. There's another method, called "track and hold," which seeks to even produce a higher level or quality of voltage sampler in its output. It does this by using an improvement in the architecture of an impulse sampler such that even a smaller or more negligible amount of current flows."
Cawley: "the object of track and hold was to further minimize the already insubstantial amount of current that passed when the switch closed?"
Sorrells: "Yes ..... the less current that flows during the switch closer, the higher the quality or more representative of the output voltage sample."
Cawley: "So explain to us now, having told us how the energy sampler works, how was it different than the impulse sampler that also used a switch?"
Sorrells: "Remember, if we look at the top diagram here, an impulse sampler, because it allows non-negligible amounts of current to flow, needs a very large amplifier to listen to very weak signals.
NB: He meant to say "because it allows negligible amounts of current to flow"
A voltage sampler has a voltage input and voltage output. Its goal is to most accurately reproduce the voltage on the output on each sample and hold that value until the next sample comes along.
An energy sampler, by contrast, has a small input amplifier and it allows non-negligible amounts of current to flow in a very large storage device. This storage device integrates or accumulates the energy -- a significant portion of the energy found in the modulated carrier signal on its input. This allows the energy sampler to create or generate the baseband signal from the accumulated energy."
This latest ruling is that "non-negligible amounts of energy" are amounts of energy distinguishable from noise. This is consistent with the normal definition of "non-negligible", i.e. "meaningful". The implication of that ruling is that negligible amounts of energy are indistinguishable from noise, i.e. not meaningful.
How does that ruling translate the following guidance from Sorrells? -
"There's another method, called "track and hold," which seeks to even produce a higher level or quality of voltage sampler in its output. It does this by using an improvement in the architecture of an impulse sampler such that even a smaller or more negligible amount of current flows."
For me - the judge's ruling here is entirely inconsistent with the sworn testimony of the lead inventor of the ParkerVision architecture. According to Sorrells, a "negligible amount of current" is still distinguishable from noise. Surely that cannot but have a bearing on his intended interpretation of the term "non-negligible" in the ParkerVision patents?
I did bring this potential issue to Overbrook's attention, but he never responded.
In the absence of any valid response to this apparent inconsistency it seems to me that if ParkerVision actually succeeds in winning this case, Qualcomm will have a rock-solid basis for an appeal - in that the ParkerVision definition adopted by the judge fails to take into account what was clearly implied by the earlier testimony of the lead inventor.
On the other hand - if Qualcomm wins this case, will ParkerVision be allowed to appeal the verdict with the argument that the judge should not have accepted ParkerVision's proposed definition of "non-negligible"?
It's also worth noting that in ruling in almost every instance in favour of the ParkerVision proposed definition, the judge's gift to ParkerVision was a double-edged sword.
ParkerVision is hoping that the wider scope of their patents with these new definitions will increase their chances of proving that the Qualcomm architecture falls within the scope of their patents. But how much easier will it now be for Qualcomm to prove that prior art falls within the scope of those patents - resulting in a verdict of non-infringement on the ground of invalidity?
Don't forget that with the new definition of "non-negligible", the scope of those patents no longer excludes, for example, "an improvement in the architecture of an impulse sampler such that even a smaller or more negligible amount of current flows.". Even an amount of current so small as to require a very large amplifier must still be "distinguishable from noise" for the architecture to work - therefore said architecture is no longer outside of the newly-widened scope of those patents.
p.s. Don't be confused by ParkerVision's use of the term "energy". All of these architectures have as a starting point an alternating current induced in the antenna by the proximity of the carrier signal.
Sorrells explained during the Tutorial hearing that the established architectures need a very large amplifier because they sample small amounts of current, whereas his invention was an architecture which needs only a small amplifier because it "allows non-negligible amounts of current to flow" (as indeed do the established architectures with the new definition of "non-negligible").
Roundermatt and the other Longs here - I know you must be as eager as the rest of us to benefit from an educated take on this issue. Would you mind holding back any response you may have until we can also see Overbrook's view as a trial lawyer please?
Well Fud, I think your points are well made but falling on mostly deaf ears. May as well let the longs “enjoy the moment” while it lasts. They haven’t had this much fun since the “ITT is going to buy $25 million” announcement. Always interesting how ITT licensed the technology, further invested in it, and then declined to go further. Then as now, the longs were and are "investing legends in their own minds".
So, if you would like to have a little fun, I think the Markman opened the door to 836,531 Pickard's receive- energy-powered direct-conversion receiver. Checkout the sentence starting in line 48 on the last page.
The judge made it pretty clear to QCOM what they have to do. It will be interesting to watch.
The opinions are my own.
Thanks for the pointer to 836531, though my grasp of the technology is such that I doubt I'll appreciate the significance of that prior art.
The reason I keep banging on about this is that it's difficult to believe there isn't a perfectly good explanation.
The judge noted that Qualcomm's stance was that the term "non-negligible" should be construed in the context of the alleged NOVELTY of the claimed method of down-conversion. But having made that observation, the judge did not dismiss that stance as unreasonable. And how could he? The disputed term appears in a patent, and the whole point of a patent is to define the novelty of the claimed invention (the factors which differentiate it from prior art).
The judge instead essentially ruled that ParkerVision had pointed to parts of the specification where the term "distinguishable from noise" had been used, and that Qualcomm had offered nothing to undermine the ParkerVision interpretation of those extracts.
But surely this was all a red herring? ParkerVision argued "This is blue". Qualcomm argued "This is dark blue". The judge agreed with ParkerVision on the grounds that Qualcomm had failed to convince him that the colour is not blue.
Qualcomm had never disputed that the ParkerVision architecture utilises amounts of energy distinguishable from noise. But the testimony of the lead inventor during the earlier Tutorial hearing consistently evidenced his (mis)use of the term "non-negligible" in the context of the novelty of the claimed invention. Although this was only extrinsic evidence, it was evidence which in no manner contradicted the intrinsic evidence.
The judge heard straight from the horse's mouth the intended interpretation of that term. It seems unlikely he overlooked the relevance of that evidence, so why did he ignore it in favour of an interpretation which was meaningless in the context of the novelty of the claimed invention?
I just wonder if this may have been a blunder on the part of ParkerVision. Perhaps it never occurred to them that the judge would ignore the lead inventor's use of the term in the context of the claimed invention, and simply accept their proposed interpretation.
Perhaps the judge thought it appropriate to hoist them on their own petard. Be careful what you wish for .....
FUD, give it up. You had a chance to scare the longs when there was uncertainty. Now the judge has ruled and we are dealing with facts. You need to close your short position before the rest of the shorts panic and start a squeeze. This stock is going up, the question is only how high.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Please Fud. Give it up. You've always used the approach that "more is better." You post, long, rambling technical manifestos, hoping that someone will experience gravity from all the weight of your writing. The Markman has really (really!) gone against Qualcomm. Learn to live with it.