MOVE, INC. v. REAL ESTATE ALLIANCE LTD.
United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit.
Decided: March 22, 2011.
Step (g) recites "displaying the second area and a plurality of points within the second area, each point representing the appropriate geographic location of an available real estate property." The '989 patent also describes a procedure for creating and updating real estate property data wherein a user pinpoints the specific geographic location of the property using a crosshair cursor. '989 patent col.4 ll.52-61. The district court reasoned that the results of this procedure limit where each point is displayed in step (g), and construed the phase "appropriate geographic location" as:
the location within the displayed second area identified by the creator of the property listing file using a movable crosshair cursor to pinpoint the location, which was intended to correspond to the actual physical location of the available real estate property on the Earth's surface.
J.A. 17. In other words, the court limited the "appropriate geographic location" to a location previously pinpointed by a user in a particular manner.
On appeal, REAL argues that the district court improperly imported this pinpointing limitation into the claimed displaying step. Move argues that because the disclosed create and update procedure must be used to create all listing files searchable by users of the claimed invention, the points must be displayed at the userpinpointed location.
We agree with REAL that the pinpointing limitation should not be imported into the definition of an appropriate geographic location. The claim recites no such limitation. Furthermore, the specification gives us no reason to conclude that every listing in the claimed database must be entered by this create and update procedure. Even using this procedure, users need not perform each and every step. See, e.g., '989 patent col.4 l.55 (cross-hair cursor "allows," but does not require, user to pinpoint location). Even assuming arguendo that only listings entered by performing each step of the create and update procedure are displayed, the appropriate location could also be, for example, determined from the address that was entered during the procedure. Id. col.4 ll.59-61.
The parties also disagree whether the appropriate geographic location corresponds to the actual or approximate physical location of the available real estate property. The inventor added step (g) in its entirety to overcome cited art, explaining that the points were each displayed "at the approximate geographic location of available real estate property." J.A. 1009. Accordingly, we conclude that the "appropriate geographic location" broadly means the approximate geographic location of an available property as stored in the database.
The district court also construed "displaying" step (g) as being restricted to displaying on a computer monitor, as opposed to using a printer. REAL argues that the district court's construction should apply only to the '576 patent. Move responds that, in the parties' joint claim construction brief, they agreed that their arguments with respect to displaying applied equally to both patents. We conclude that the displaying must occur on a computer monitor and not a printer. When read in conjunction with the other claim steps, it is clear that the displaying must occur on the monitor so that the display can be manipulated. The claim also recites "zooming in on [an area] of the displayed map." Such zooming cannot be performed on a printed map. Accordingly, we agree with the district court the displaying must occur on the monitor.