Means-Plus-Function Software Terms Defined With Algorithmic Structure Sufficient to Show Bounds of Terminology
To the contrary, the specification contains sufficient algorithmic structure to give meaning to claims 61 and 67. Claim definiteness, as discussed earlier, depends on the skill level of a person of ordinary skill in the art. Miles Labs., Inc., 997 F.2d at 875. In software cases, therefore, algorithms in the specification need only disclose adequate defining structure to render the bounds of the claim understandable to one of ordinary skill in the art. See, e.g., Med. Instrumentation and Diagnostics Corp. v. Elekta AB, 344 F.3d 1205, 1214 (Fed. Cir. 2003) ("[H]ere there would be no need for a disclosure of the specific program code if software were linked to the converting function and one skilled in the art would know the kind of program to use.") See also Intel Corp. v. VIA Techs., Inc. , 319 F.3d. 1357, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (holding that the internal circuitry of an electronic device need not be disclosed in the specification if one of ordinary skill in the art would understand how to build and modify the device). In that connection, this record does not contain clear and convincing evidence that the disclosure at col.7 l.7, et seq., of the '273 patent, along with Figures 4 and 8A of the patent, do not constitute sufficient structure to define the claim terms for the ordinarily skilled artisan.
To the contrary, the record contains the statement of Richard Sonnier. This statement set forth several straightforward ways that the algorithm represented in Figure 8A could be implemented by one skilled in the art using well-known features of the Windows operating system (messages, operating system function calls, and hooking). The Sonnier statement concluded with the observation that "[a] person skilled in the art reading the '273 specification would know that any of these techniques could be used to determine the position of a recognized word in the third party application, would know the software to use and how to implement it." Second Supplemental Sonnier Decl. ¶ 17. Thus, the record does contain sufficient algorithmic structure to give meaning to the claim terms from the vantage point of an ordinarily skilled artisan. Thus, Mr. Sonnier supplied the only assessment in this record of the adequacy of the specification to disclose enough steps to constitute an actual algorithm for carrying out the functions claimed in the means-plus-function clauses of claims 61 and 67. Without any record evidence to contradict Sonnier’s assessment, this court discerns that the district court erred in this indefiniteness judgment as
well. Therefore, this court holds that claims 61 and 67 satisfy the definiteness