Marking Your Geographic Location, Markman-style.

A recent claims construction ruling, on GPS-based guidance systems for farming, plows right through a Markman analysis of “position information.”  This claim term is elemental to pinpointing precise locations in massive farm fields, which have few natural landmarks. 

The ruling in Trimble Navig. v. RHS, Inc., (N.D. Calif. 5/29/2007) adopts the style of sentences with frequent use of “not” and “non-”.  For example:  “defendants’ construction …, is not only consistent with the specification, but it does not, as plaintiffs argue, limit position information to GPS sources only; it specifically takes …non-GPS sources, into account.”  It continues, “This is not the same as saying… the patent includes non-satellite based guidance systems.”  This provoked the finding that, “As such, the term ‘position information’ – as used in the claims – should not be construed to include non-GPS based systems entirely”. 

The Court has said what “position information” is and what it is not, which is the way that Markman would have wanted it, i.e., that definition is not unwanted.