U.S. Judge in Colorado Refuses to Exclude Patent Expert Witness in Action Against Google


Patent Expert Witness GoogleCase:

Potter Voice Technologies LLC v. Google, Inc., et al., No. 12–cv–01096–REB–CBS, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado; March 19, 2014

Background:

Potter Voice Technologies LLC owns patent number 5,729,659 (the ′659 patent). The patent describes a method and apparatus for controlling a digital computer using oral input. Potter alleges that BlackBerry Voice Commands, Google Voice Search, Google Voice Actions and Windows Speech Commands infringe the ′659 patent when these software products are used on mobile phones.

Moreover, the defendants assert that the means-plus-function claims in the patent do not describe a sufficient structure to accomplish the stated function.

Patent Expert Witness:

In support of its claim construction brief, Potter submitted the declaration of David Klausner. Klausner opined that a person of ordinary skill in the art at the time of the patent would have understood algorithms specified in the patent to be the structures associated with the means-plus-function claims at issue. Microsoft argued that Klausner’s opinions should be excluded because he is not qualified to give opinions in the area of associative computing and because some of his opinions are conclusory. Microsoft also argues that Klausner’s opinion is comprised of conclusory, unsupported assertions that will not assist the court in construing the disputed claim terms.

Admissibility of Patent Expert Witness:

Judge Robert E. Blackburn for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado concluded that Klausner has ample specialized knowledge, skill, experience, training, and education in the area of computer science generally and in the area of associative computing specifically that qualify him to testify. The judge also said any issues about his qualifications go to the weight to be given his testimony, not admissibility.

Further, Klausner does not just state conclusions, the judge said. Instead, he cites particular language and figures in the patent as specifying the algorithms.

“Such conclusions are sufficiently reasoned and specific for purposes of Rule 702 and are not merely conclusory,” the judge held. “To the extent there are hiatuses or other flaws in the analysis and conclusions of Mr. Klausner, those gaps or flaws go to the weight and credibility to be accorded the opinions and not to their admissibility.”

Findings stated rationale and ratiocination for Klausner’s conclusions sufficiently reasoned and specific for purposes of Federal Rule of Evidence 702. Consequently, the judge denied Potter’s motion to exclude his testimony.