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Aylus Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

May 11, 2017

AYLUS NETWORKS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
APPLE INC., Defendant-Appellee

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in No. 3:13-cv-04700-EMC, Judge Edward M. Chen.

          AMARDEEP LAL Thakur, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, Los Angeles, CA, argued for plaintiff-appellant. Also represented by BRUCE R. ZlSSER; JOSHUA L. SOHN, Washington, DC.

          Mark D. Fowler, DLA Piper U.S. LLP, East Palo Alto, CA, argued for defendant-appellee. Also represented by Robert Buergi, Christine K. Corbett, Erik Ryan Fuehrer; Stanley Joseph Panikowski, III, San Diego, CA.

          Before MOORE, Linn, and Stoll, Circuit Judges.

          Stoll, Circuit Judge.

         Aylus Networks, Inc. appeals the United States District Court for the Northern District of California's grant of summary judgment finding that Apple Inc.'s AirPlay feature does not infringe the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. RE 44, 412. For the reasons below, we affirm.

         Background

         I.

         The '412 patent "provides systems and methods for implementing digital home networks having a control point located on a wide area network." '412 patent col. 5 11. 35-37. The specification explains that as bandwidth provided by wireless networks increases, these networks, such as 3G networks, "are now expected to provide broadcast content, video telephony, multimedia conferencing, video streaming services, file upload and download services, and interactive multimedia services." Id. at col. 4 1. 60 - col. 5 1. 3. But the availability of network coverage supporting these multimedia services is uneven, because "[i]n some areas several networks may be available simultaneously that could be used by a handset, whereas in other regions there may be insufficient coverage to support a given network service." Id. at col. 5 11. 4-8. The specification also describes "an inherent disadvantage" to using handsets due to their small screen sizes, which are not amenable to long viewing periods or being jointly viewed by multiple users. Id. at col. 5 11. 14-24.

         To overcome these disadvantages, the patent teaches various network architectures for streaming and displaying media content using combinations of networked components. These networked components include: (1) a media server (MS); (2) a media renderer (MR); (3) control point (CP) logic that includes logic to negotiate media content delivery with at least one of an MS and an MR; and (4) control point proxy (CPP) logic that includes:

(i) logic to negotiate media content delivery with at least one of an MS and an MR, (ii) logic to cooperate with CP logic to negotiate media content delivery between an MS and an MR, and (iii) VCR controls to control a presentation of content provided by the MS and rendered by the MR.

Id. at col. 5 11. 56-62. In one embodiment, "[t]he control point and control point proxies cooperatively negotiate media delivery from a user-selected media server, such as a home stereo or DVD player, to a user-selected media renderer, such as a TV display or the display on a handset." Id. at col. 5 U. 42-48.

         The specification further explains that when one of an MS and an MR are not in communication with the user endpoint device ("UE") via a local wireless network, both the CP logic and CPP logic are invoked to cooperatively negotiate media content delivery between the MS and MR. When both an MS and an MR are in communication with the UE via a local wireless network, however, "[t]he CPP logic is invoked to negotiate media content delivery between" the MS and MR. Id. at col. 6 11. 5-8. Finally, when neither an MS nor an MR are in communication with the UE via a local wireless network, "[t]he CP logic is invoked to negotiate media content delivery between" the MS and MR. Id. at col. 6 11. 9-12.

         The architecture of the networked components of one embodiment is depicted in Figure 12:

         Image Omitted.

         '412 patent Fig. 12. Claims 2 and 21 are at issue in this appeal.[1] Because claim 2 is dependent upon claim 1, we reproduce both claims below:

1. A method of controlling and delivering media content from a media server (MS) to a media renderer (MR) utilizing a wide area network for control, comprising the acts of:
provisioning a serving node in the wide area network with control point (CP) logic that includes logic to negotiate media content delivery with at least one of the MS and the MR, wherein the CP logic, MS, and MR resides outside of a user end-point (UE) and the CP logic resides in the signaling domain and serves as a first proxy;
provisioning the UE of the wide area network with control point proxy (CPP) logic that includes (i) logic to negotiate media content delivery with at least one of the MS and the MR, (ii) logic to cooperate with CP logic to negotiate media content delivery between the MS and the MR, and (iii) video cassette recorder (VCR) controls to control a presentation of content provided by the MS and rendered by the MR, wherein the CPP logic resides in the UE and serves as a second proxy;
in response to a media content delivery request, determining a network context of the UE and a network connectivity of the MS and MR;
invoking the CPP logic and the CP logic to cooperatively negotiate media content delivery between the MS and the MR if one of the MS and MR are not in communication with the UE via a local wireless network; and
once media content delivery is negotiated, controlling a presentation of delivery via the ...

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