Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| NOKIA GMBH
|- and -
|IPCOM GMBH & CO. KG
|IPCOM GMBH & CO. KG
|- and -
|(1) NOKIA UK LIMITED
|(2) NOKIA OYJ (NOKIA CORPORATION)
Daniel Alexander QC and Brian Nicholson (instructed by Bristows) for IPCom GmbH & Co. KG.
Hearing dates: November 19-20, 23-27, 30 and December 1-3.
Crown Copyright ©
|The 808 Patent||19|
|The 808 patent - disclosure||21|
|Disclosure about initial synchronisation||26|
|Disclosure about normal synchronisation||29|
|Disclosure about lock-on synchronisation||32|
|The claims in issue||35|
|The skilled addressee and common general knowledge||36|
|Approach to construction||40|
|An entire scheme?||42|
|order of steps||45|
|"operates with the GSM method"||46|
|optional coarse synchronisation: 1.1||48|
|"start of a frequency correction burst" (1.2)||54|
|"phase differencing": 1.3||59|
|"with" in step 2.1||65|
|"frequency-correcting data pre-processing using a frequency correction value
which is determined from up-to-date frequency measurements" (2.2)
|"lock-on synchronization" (3) and "frequency synchronisation" (3.2)||76|
|Validity of the 808 Patent||81|
|Insufficiency - facts||85|
|Obviousness - law||107|
|The prior art||111|
|The GSM recommendations||115|
|Obviousness in the light of GSM||124|
|(1) Initial synchronisation||127|
|(2) Normal synchronisation||128|
|Fine frame synchronisation||131|
|Fine frequency synchronisation||137|
|Using the same burst||140|
|(3) Lock-on synchronisation||142|
|Conclusion thus far||150|
|Data pre-processing over common general knowledge alone||152|
|Data pre-processing and Baier||160|
|Data pre-processing and D'Avella||168|
|Overall conclusion on obviousness||175|
|Infringement – claim 1||176|
|"operates with the GSM method"||177|
|"coarse frequency synchronisation" (1.1)||178|
|"start of a frequency correction burst" (1.2)||180|
|"fine frequency synchronisation by phase differencing with regard to a frequency correction burst" (1.3)||181|
|order of steps 1.2 and 1.3||184|
|fine frame with fine frequency in lock on (3.2)||185|
|Infringement - claim 9||186|
|Conclusion on infringement||189|
|The 189 patent||191|
|Additional technical background for 189||194|
|Contention on a shared channel||194|
|The 189 patent - disclosure||199|
|The claims and their interpretation||228|
|The prior art||238|
|Lack of novelty over GPRS||244|
|Lack of inventive step over GPRS||255|
|the (dis)/favoured users aspect||264|
|the contention/reservation aspect||267|
|Lack of novelty/obviousness over Ericsson||271|
|Obviousness over common general knowledge alone||279|
|Infringement by the Nokia N96||280|
|Infringement – the New Device||289|
The 808 Patent
The 808 patent – disclosure
"The method is particularly advantageous if the synchronisation is based on evaluation of the continuous phase angles which are in each case calculated from the individual I and Q value pairs. This allows the synchronous state to be reached very quickly."
"A distinction is drawn between three types of synchronization for the required synchronization of the mobile radio telephones.
(1) Initial synchronization,
(2) Normal operation synchronization,
(3) Lock on synchronization during normal operation."
i) a summary of GMSK (page 2 lines 27 to 32);
ii) a TDMA frame, rather misleadingly described (page 2 lines 33 to 35) by reference to figure 1 by omitting various parts of the frequency correction and synchronisation bursts,
iii) "the basic design of the reception path of a mobile radio telephone" described from page 2 line 36 to page 3 line 32, by reference to figure 2. This is reproduced below. Of especial note is the dotted line 27 labelled "equalizer unit". This surrounds something called the "synchronous processor" 28 (which it is common ground is a misnomer – the skilled person would understand it is the processor in which some aspect of synchronisation takes place) and the "equalizer demodulator processor" 29. A connection is indicated between the "central control unit" and the "equalizer unit", although it is not specific as to precisely where, within that, it goes.
iv) The specification again emphasises (now for the third time at page 3 line 24 to 26) that all processing subsequent to the analogue to digital converter is based on the processing of phase angles calculated from the I and Q components.
Disclosure about initial synchronisation
"(1. 1) coarse frequency synchronization,
(1. 2) coarse frame synchronization,
(1. 3) fine frequency synchronization,
(1.4) fine frame synchronization."
"If the accuracy of the carrier frequencies is adequate, it is possible to dispense with the burst – independent coarse frequency determination; the synchronization steps described in 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 are then sufficient for the initial synchronization."
Disclosure about normal synchronisation
"2.1 frame synchronization with fine synchronization
2.2 data signal pre-processing
Error-free decoding is ensured by continuously monitoring and maintaining frame and frequency synchronism by evaluating the training sequence within the normal burst 14 (Figure 1). In this case, the frame offset is determined first of all. The determined value (clock offset) is a parameter required to mark the pattern sequence within the data set with bit accuracy. This is a precondition for the subsequent correct correlation calculation to determine the present frequency offset.
Data preprocessing (2.2)
A frequency correction value determined from the present frequency measurements by the central control unit 31 is supplied to the synchronous processor 28. This results in the data being preprocessed, as a result of which the decoder certainty is improved, since the equalizer is supplied with the present data with the frequency already corrected. Data signal preprocessing allows the limitation of error-free decoding for frequency offsets of more than 200 Hz, which could be caused by the Doppler effect and the oscillator, to be completely eliminated."
Disclosure about lock-on synchronisation
"3.1 coarse frame synchronization
3.2 fine frame synchronization with fine frequency synchronization"
"..during normal operation, coarse frame synchronization (frequency burst start) and fine frame synchronization together with fine frequency synchronization are carried out as a background process for lock-on synchronization…"
"… the synchronization parameters required for going beyond the cell boundary (frame and frequency offset) for the surrounding adjacent cells are determined as a background process during normal operation – lock-on synchronization (process with a relatively low priority). The control unit 31 thus ensures that a connection is maintained when going beyond a cell boundary."
The claims in issue
"Synchronization method for mobile radio telephones in a cellular, digital mobile radio telephone network, which comprises a plurality of fixed stations and mobile radio telephones and operates with the GSM method, characterized in that, in the mobile radio telephone,
(1) initial synchronization which is used to set up a connection between a mobile radio telephone and a fixed station,
(2) normal operation synchronization, and
(3) lock-on synchronization, that is to say synchronization of a mobile radio telephone to an adjacent cell during normal operation, are carried out in a manner
in which the initial synchronization is split into the following steps:
(1.1) coarse frequency synchronization at least if the accuracy of the carrier frequencies is not adequate, in which case the coarse frequency synchronization operates independently of bursts and determines whether the frequency of the determined carrier is within a tolerance band,
(1.2) coarse frame synchronization by approximate detection of the start of a frame with the aid of the identification of the start of a frequency correction burst
(1.3) fine frequency synchronization by phase differencing with regard to a frequency correction burst
(1.4) fine frame synchronization, that is to say bit-accuracy frame synchronization,
the normal operation synchronization is split into the following steps:
(2.1) frame synchronization with fine frequency synchronization,
(2.2) frequency-correcting data signal preprocessing using a frequency correction value which is determined from up-to-date frequency measurements
and the lock-on synchronization comprises
(3.1) coarse frame synchronization and
(3.2) fine frame synchronization with fine frequency synchronization."
"Synchronization method according to one of Claims 1 to 6, characterized in that the normal operation synchronization is carried out by identifying and evaluating the training sequence within the normal burst"
"Synchronization method according to one of Claims 1 to 10, characterized in that the lock-on synchronization is carried out to surrounding adjacent cells during normal operation by means of coarse frame synchronization and in that, after this, fine frame synchronization is carried out with fine frequency synchronization by identifying and evaluating the synchronization burst."
The skilled addressee and common general knowledge
Approach to construction
An entire scheme?
order of steps
"operates with the GSM method"
optional coarse frequency synchronisation: 1.1
"at least if the accuracy of the carrier frequencies is not adequate".
"start of a frequency correction burst" (1.2)
"approximate detection of the start of a frame with the aid of the identification of the start of a frequency correction burst".
"In the next synchronization step, coarse frame determination … it is necessary to detect the approximate start of a frame. The frequency correction burst is used for this purpose."
"phase differencing": 1.3
"The frequency determination algorithm determines the present phase value from the I,Q sample value pair and forms the difference from the reference phase value calculated in parallel with it. Minimising the phase difference values by use of linear regression provides a measure that is proportional to the frequency offset."
"with" in step 2.1
"frame synchronization with fine frequency synchronization"
"frequency-correcting data pre-processing using a frequency correction value which is determined from up-to-date frequency measurements" (2.2)
i) IPCom's construction is simply an attempt to use the specific embodiment to limit the claim. This is not legitimate. The only restrictions imposed by the claim are that the frequency correction is properly regarded as pre-processing and that it uses up to date information.
ii) The term "equaliser" does not itself have a clear meaning, as the experts agreed. So even if it were legitimate to read "before the equaliser" into claim 1, there would still be a question about what the term "equaliser" meant.
iii) The skilled person would have no reason to think that the patentee was at all concerned about precisely where the correction was applied. Indeed this seems to be left deliberately vague in figure 2.
"lock-on synchronization" (3) and "frequency synchronization" (3.2)
Validity of the 808 Patent
"The section requires the skilled man to be able to perform the invention, but does not lay down the limits as to the time and energy that the skilled man must spend seeking to perform the invention before it is insufficient. Clearly there must be a limit. The subsection, by using the words, clearly enough and completely enough, contemplates that patent specifications need not set out every detail necessary for performance, but can leave the skilled man to use his skill to perform the invention. In so doing he must seek success. He should not be required to carry out any prolonged research, enquiry or experiment. He may need to carry out the ordinary methods of trial and error, which involve no inventive step and generally are necessary in applying the particular discovery to produce a practical result. In each case it is a question of fact, depending on the nature of the invention, as to whether the steps needed to perform the invention are ordinary steps of trial and error which a skilled man would realise would be necessary and normal in order to produce a practical result."
Insufficiency - facts
"The description of step 1.1 (coarse frequency synchronisation) does not identify sufficiently or at all: (i) how it is determined whether or not the frequency of the determined carrier is within or outside a tolerance band; (ii) how an initial estimate of the frequency is derived; (iii) how the results of (i) or (ii) are used to synchronise the receiver sufficiently to carry out the subsequent steps claimed; (iv) how the tolerance band is varied if the band is constrained for any given datastream, including how such a constraint of the band is identified or determined and how such a varied tolerance band is used to synchronise the receiver sufficiently to carry out the subsequent steps claimed; (v) how phase unwrapping can be implemented for large frequency offsets in the presence of interference and noise or at the boundaries between bursts."
"Coarse frequency determination is carried out independently of bursts and, once a carrier frequency has been found, can thus be used by the radio-frequency reception section 21 to make an initial estimate of the frequency. The result provides information on whether the frequency of the determined carrier is within or outside a tolerance band TB, see Figure 3. The maximum tolerance band is governed by the absolute phase profile, resulting from a permanent binary sequence I of the logic value 0 on the one hand and from an alternating binary sequence II of the logic values 0 and 1 within a fixed measurement time. The tolerance band is variable, as a result of which the accuracy of the frequency estimate increases if the band is constrained for any given data stream; see Figure 3. If the accuracy of the carrier frequencies is adequate, it is possible to dispense with the burst – independent coarse frequency determination; the synchronization steps described in 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 are then sufficient for the initial synchronization."
"In Mr. Meade's opening I think he implied that there was common ground in terms of I accepted that you needed a frequency error of less than or equal to 40 kHz in order to perform a frequency correction burst search. That is not my opinion. My opinion is that if you can devise a scheme to find a frequency correction burst with this 30 or 40 kHz window, it is a trivial exercise to simply -- if you know your error on your frequency correction burst is potentially larger, it is a trivial exercise to simply tune the oscillator by a small amount and search over a larger window. The penalty you pay in that respect is obviously time. If you can find it first go, then obviously you will do it more quickly. But if you need to tune around, then you pay a time penalty. It is almost like if you take a digital radio, you push the button for Radio 4 and you go straight there. If you have got an old analogue one, you would tune around where you expected Radio 4 to be and if you got to Radio 1 or Radio 3 you would have known that you had missed it. So I do not accept this 40 kHz limitation on step 1.2."
i) if some further step dependent on bursts were necessary to allow the mobile to read the frequency correction burst, then coarse frequency synchronisation (which has to be independent of bursts) had not been achieved;
ii) there is no teaching of scanning in the patent, and scanning would not be common general knowledge
iii) the addition of such a further step is contrary to the whole teaching of the 808 patent that synchronisation is achieved quickly and with relatively little effort; indeed on Nokia's view of construction it is outside the claim altogether;
iv) the fact that some further step is necessary is tantamount to an admission that it was not possible to achieve coarse frequency synchronisation.
"There is nothing to tell the skilled reader how to use a tolerance band when the phase changes per bit period could be as large as 337.5°. I do not see how this method could even begin to work in such a system. I cannot conceive what sort of tolerance band would be used for such a system, or how to begin to address the other issues that I have discussed above."
"I agree with Professor Eizenhöfer … that Figure 3 of the Synchronisation Patent is based on the assumption that the modulation scheme is GMSK. EDGE uses two modulation schemes: GMSK and 8PSK. The tolerance bands shown in Figure 3 of the Synchronisation Patent do not apply to 8PSK. From the time of the deployment of EDGE, the skilled person would rely on a sufficiently accurate oscillator which, as Professor Eizenhöfer has indicated, had been widely available for some time."
Obviousness - law
"(1) (a) Identify the notional 'person skilled in the art'.
(b) Identify the relevant common general knowledge of that person.
(2) Identify the inventive concept of the claim in question or, if that cannot readily be done, construe it.
(3) Identify what, if any, differences exist between the matter cited as forming part of the "state of the art" and the inventive concept of the claim or the claim as construed.
(4) Ask whether, when viewed without any knowledge of the alleged invention as claimed: do those differences constitute steps which would have been obvious to the person skilled in the art or do they require any degree of invention?"
In Conor v Angiotech  UKHL 49;  RPC 28 at  Lord Hoffmann approved the following statement by Kitchin J in Generics (UK) Ltd v H Lundbeck A/S  RPC 32 at :
"The question of obviousness must be considered on the facts of each case. The court must consider the weight to be attached to any particular factor in the light of all the relevant circumstances. These may include such matters as the motive to find a solution to the problem the patent addresses, the number and extent of the possible avenues of research, the effort involved in pursuing them and the expectation of success."
"a mere placing side by side of old integers so that each performs its own proper function independently of any of the others is not a patentable combination, but that where the old integers when placed together have some working inter-relation producing a new or improved result then there is patentable subject-matter in the idea of a working interrelation brought about by the collocation of the integers."
i) The starting point for the attack must be established as common general knowledge;
ii) It is important to be precise about what it is that is said to be common general knowledge;
iii) It is important in the context of (i) and (ii) to remember that knowledge known to some only is not common general knowledge;
iv) Care needs to be taken to make sure the whole picture presented by the common general knowledge is presented;
v) The common general knowledge does not include matter which does not inform the skilled person's approach from the outset.
The prior art
i) GSM 05.01 version 3.3.2: Physical Layer on the Radio Path: General Description;
ii) GSM 05.02 version 3.4.1: Multiplexing and Multiple Access on the Radio Path;
iii) GSM 05.08 version 3.1.0: Radio Sub-System Link Control;
iv) GSM 05.10 version 3.4.0: Radio Sub-System Synchronisation.
i) European Patent Application No 0 454 266 entitled "Receiver comprising a circuit for estimating frequency offset" ("Baier");
ii) An article by D'Avella and others in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, January 1989, entitled "An Adaptive MLSE Receiver for TDMA Digital Mobile Radio" ("D'Avella").
The GSM recommendations
"The time slot is a time interval of [approximately] 576.9 µs … and its physical content is called a burst. Four different types of bursts exist in the system. ...
- normal burst (NB): this burst is used to carry information on traffic and control channels, except for RACH…
-frequency correction burst (FB): this burst is used for frequency synchronization of the mobile….
-synchronization burst (SB): this burst is used for time synchronization of the mobile. It contains a long training sequence and carries the information of the TDMA frame number (FN) and base station identity code (BSIC ...
"The BS sends signals on the BCCH to enable the MS to synchronise itself to the BS and if necessary correct its frequency standard to be in line with that of the BS. The signals sent by the BS for these purposes are
(a) Frequency correction bursts
(b) Synchronisation bursts"
"6.1 The MS carrier frequency shall be accurate to within 0.1 ppm, or accurate to within 0.l ppm compared to signals received from the BS (these signals will have an apparent frequency error due to BS frequency error and Doppler shift). In the latter case the signals from the BS must be averaged over sufficient time that errors due to noise or interference are allowed for within the above 0.1 ppm figure. The MS shall use the same frequency source for both RF frequency generation and clocking the timebase.
6.2 The MS shall keep its internal timebase in line with that of signals received from the BS. If the MS determines that the timing difference exceeds 2µs, it shall adjust its timebase in steps of 1/4 bit period . This adjustment shall be performed at intervals of not less than 1 second and not greater than 2 seconds until the timing difference is less than 1/2 bit periods."
Obviousness in the light of GSM
(1) Initial synchronisation
(2) Normal synchronisation
Fine frame synchronisation
"…. at least in connected mode, it would have been obvious in 1991 to use the Normal Bursts for maintaining synchronization. Normal burst traffic channels are being processed anyway to provide the voice connection. The timing of such Normal Bursts is being ascertained for the purposes of data detection from the training sequence and can be used for timebase adjustment also."
"Q. Obviously decoding either the normal burst or the synchronisation burst requires maintaining timing synchronisation and frequency synchronisation between the base station and the mobile phone.
A. In the broad sense, yes. I mean, there are degrees in the case of each of those synchronisation areas, but in the broad sense you would need to be both frequency and time synchronised.
Q. And by what common general knowledge means in 1991 did you envisage, for example, the ordinary skilled person getting adequate timing synchronisation between base station and the mobile for decoding normal bursts?
A. By using the channel estimate -- sorry, the training sequence to generate a channel estimate and known time when the training sequence passes through the channel.
Q. Right. We agree with you on that.
i) the tool which was provided by GSM for obtaining the fine timing synchronisation was the synchronisation burst;
ii) the synchronisation burst has a longer training sequence, and it would be perceived by the skilled person as specially suited for obtaining fine frame synchronisation;
iii) there was adequate time for the mobile to use the synchronisation burst during the idle periods when it was not decoding the normal bursts;
iv) the skilled team would see no reason to obtain timing more frequently, or to obtain frame timing from every normal burst;
v) no documents describe the normal burst being used for frame synchronisation.
Fine frequency synchronisation
Q. By what method, using common general knowledge in 1991, did you think that the ordinary skilled person would get and maintain sufficient frequency synchronisation to decode the normal burst?
A. I think there may be a number of techniques that could have been used. I think the convention or at least perhaps the techniques that had been used in the past on earlier systems would have been along the phase lock loop variety whereby you manipulate the signal in some way to produce spurs at particular known frequencies and then lock to those, potentially in the digital domain. So that would be one approach. You might call that a sort of frequency-centric approach. The other way to do it would be to look at the phase of the signal and use that as some guide as to what the frequency offset would be.
Q. You regard both of those techniques as being common general knowledge. Can you just explain to what extent, if at all, those are done using the training sequence in the normal burst?
A. I think the first one does not rely on a training sequence. The idea is that you can generate those spikes from general data. The second technique, it could use the known training sequence bits or it could manipulate the data in such a way that it could use the entire burst.
Q. I see, but in any case you accept that it would have been included in the common general knowledge in 1991 to get and maintain frequency synchronisation using either the whole of the normal burst or the training sequence within it
"Q. Let me put it to you this way. You accept obviously that normal bursts are being received and processed anyway.
Q. You have agreed with me that the training sequence inside the normal burst is absolutely perfect for getting timing.
Q. And is it not therefore the case that using the normal burst for normal synchronisation -- sorry, excuse me, for what the patent calls normal synchronisation -- is an extremely obvious way to go even if there are other options?
A. Because of my kind of ambivalence on the subject, I probably would not use the word extremely.
MR. JUSTICE FLOYD: Subject to that?
A. I am willing to accept it is obvious. I do not really have a strong view one way or the other. I do not really want to have a big argument if it is obvious."
Using the same burst
"Q. Step away from the '808 patent all together for the moment. Put yourself in the position of the ordinary skilled person in 1991 armed only with their common general knowledge, no knowledge of the '808 patent at all, working on the issue of normal operation synchronisation. Assume with me for the moment that they have decided, do not worry about why for the moment, to use the normal burst type, both for fine frame and fine frequency synchronisation. I think it follows from your previous answers that they would definitely use the same burst in the sense that you have described it. "
A. Yes, I think it would make sense to do that.
Q. It would be positively odd to take a timing offset and then wait a few normal bursts ----
A. I agree."
(3) Lock-on synchronisation
i) When handover actually takes place, there is, as the skilled team would appreciate, only a limited time available to effect synchronisation: some four frames. Professor Eizenhöfer thought this "very tight", whilst Mr Gould said there was "no time to hang around".
ii) Base stations have very accurate oscillators which are designed to be in synchronism to 0.05 ppm. One view might be that it was not therefore necessary to obtain fine frequency synchronisation. Nevertheless the tolerances on two base stations, when added to the tolerance at the mobile, can add up to a maximum possible difference of 0.2 ppm.
iii) The mobile has to visit the neighbouring base station anyway as required by GSM to obtain the timing and the BSIC. There would be adequate time to obtain the frequency information as well within the available window.
Conclusion thus far
Data pre-processing over common general knowledge alone
"Q. So when the skilled person cracks down to the task of actually designing the routines and the components that he or she is going to use for the equaliser and decoder, and so on and so forth, he or she is not going to be able to avoid noticing that the offset is present in the data.
Q. In those circumstances, he or she will have to consider whether that is going to cause a problem.
Q. And if it is going to cause a problem, he or she is going to want to fix it.
A. In some way, yes.
Q. That can be done by a number of routine means ----
Q. ---- including taking the offset out of the data.
A. I do not know if there is some implication in your word routine" there.
A. OK, that is what I am having difficulty agreeing to, just because, you know, the sorts of things people have been talking about in these conferences suggest that perhaps the obvious way of doing it was to design an adaptive equaliser that can actually tolerate a bigger frequency offset. This idea of correcting it before it goes into the equaliser, so it is clearly being talked about at these learned conferences, that is what I have difficulty with.
Q. Mr. Gould, can I ask you a broader question?
Q. This seems to us, and it is Nokia's case, that this is a very trivial bit of engineering.
A. Yes. As I say, I have a really open mind on this. I am prepared to be convinced, but you are not convincing me. That is where I stand."
Data pre-processing and Baier
"With baseband conversion of signals transmitted with a carrier frequency, signals received in the receiver are converted to the baseband frequency after they have been converted as appropriate to one or more intermediate frequencies, for example, by means of a quadrature mixer. Tolerances and drift of the transmitter frequency and of the mixing frequencies in the receiver may lead to a frequency offset in the baseband signal, so that the transmission performance is affected in a negative fashion. In addition, Doppler effects in radio transmission systems comprising mobile transceiving arrangements make a relatively rapidly varying frequency offset possible, which is additively superimposed on the afore-mentioned frequency offset which varies only very slowly.
In order to avoid or restrict a negative effect on the transmission performance, which effect is caused by a frequency offset in the receiver, it is necessary to continuously estimate the frequency offset and keep this offset as small as possible by means of an automatic mixing frequency control, or equalize this offset by means of various analog or digital signal processing measures, for example a frequency correction in the digitized baseband signal."
"In order to obtain statistically rather reliable estimates of the frequency offset, it is advantageous to form a mean value of a plurality of calculations of the frequency offset."
"The estimates produced for the frequency offset in [the] above way are pre-eminently suitable for controlling the oscillators used for the baseband conversion, so as to adjust the frequency offset by accordingly varying the oscillators."
"Another advantageous embodiment of the invention is the use of estimates in an arrangement for frequency offset correction. This arrangement for frequency correction is inserted between the analog-to-digital converter and the channel estimators or before a baseband signal processor and multiplies the complex signal I + jQ, obtained after baseband conversion by means of sampling and analog-to-digital conversion, by a suitably sampled and digitized copy of a correction signal g = exp(j2p-df(i)?t) recovered from the frequency offset df. When an arrangement for correcting the frequency position is used, the oscillators need not be adjusted."
"When an arrangement for correcting the frequency position is used, the oscillators need not be adjusted. This is especially advantageous when a receiver alternately receives signals with different receive frequencies. In such a case the frequency offset may be separately determined and stored for each receive frequency."
Data pre-processing and D'Avella
"In practice, there are two independent adaptation functions: a tracking of the CIR variations and a tracking of the phase variations."
Overall conclusion on obviousness
Infringement – claim 1
"operates with the GSM method"
"coarse frequency synchronisation" (1.1)
"start of a frequency correction burst" (1.2)
"fine frequency synchronisation by phase differencing with regard to a frequency correction burst" (1.3)
order of steps 1.2 and 1.3
fine frame with fine frequency in lock on (3.2)
Infringement -claim 9
Conclusion on infringement
The 189 patent
Additional technical background for 189
Contention on a shared channel
The 189 patent - disclosure
"By contrast, the inventive method and the inventive subscriber station having the features of the independent claims have the advantage that access authorisation data for the least one subscriber station are transmitted with the information signals, that, upon receipt of the access authorisation data in an evaluation unit in the at least one subscriber station, a check is carried out to determine whether the access authorisation data comprise an access threshold value, the access threshold value being compared with a random number or with a pseudo-random number, and that the access right for a telecommunications channel is assigned to the at least one subscriber station on the basis of the comparison result."
"This allows the access authorization for this telecommunications channel to be randomly distributed for one or more subscriber stations. This access control uses a minimum of transmission capacity for transmitting the information signals, since it is effected merely by transmitting the access threshold value."
"A particular advantage is that the evaluation unit in the at least one subscriber station checks whether the access authorisation data comprise access authorisation information with access class information for at least one prescribed user class, with, in this case and on the assumption that the at least one subscriber station is associated with the at least one prescribed user class, access to at least one telecommunications channel being granted to the at least one subscriber station on the basis of the access class information for this user class."
"This permits subscriber stations of a prescribed user class to be authorized to use the telecommunications channel even if the random distribution by means of access threshold value would not authorize them to access this telecommunications channel. Thus, by way of example, subscriber stations for emergency services, such as the police or the fire brigade, can be associated with such a prescribed user class and can then access the telecommunications channel with priority irrespective of the random distribution by corresponding access threshold value information."
"In a second exemplary embodiment, in figure 3c, a third bit pattern … having a bit length of 13 bits is transmitted from the base station … to the mobile stations … with the information signals. The third bit pattern … does not have an evaluation bit S4 and therefore comprises both the access threshold value bits S3, S2, S1, S0 and the access class bits Z3, Z2, Z1, Z0. In addition the third bit pattern … and also the first bit pattern … and the second bit pattern … comprise the telecommunications service bits D2, D1, D0 and the priority bits P1, P0."
"In contrast to the first exemplary embodiment, the second exemplary embodiment allows access to the RACH … not only by mobile stations which can access the RACH … on account of their association with a user class, but also by such mobile stations as draw a random or pseudo-random number R of greater than or equal to the access threshold value S ....
The claims and their interpretation
1. Method for allocating access rights for at least one telecommunications channel, which may be in shared use by a plurality of subscriber stations, in a telecommunications network to at least one subscriber station in the telecommunications network, where information signals are transmitted to the at least one subscriber station,
characterized in that access authorization data for at least one subscriber station are transmitted with the information signals,
in that, upon receipt of the access authorization data in an evaluation unit in the at least one subscriber station, a check is carried out to determine whether the access authorization data comprise an access threshold value (S), the access threshold value being compared with a random number or with a pseudorandom number (R),
and in that the access right for a telecommunications channel is assigned to the at least one subscriber station on the basis of the comparison result.
2. Method according to Claim 1,
characterized in that the evaluation unit in the at least one subscriber station checks whether the access authorization data comprise access authorization information with access class information for at least one prescribed user class
with, in this case and on the assumption that the at least one subscriber station is associated with the at least one prescribed user class, access to at least one telecommunications channel being granted to the at least one subscriber station on the basis of the access class information for this user class.
"The dispute is whether the check in claim 1 means:
(a) Establish whether or not the access authorisation data sent by the network contain or do not contain an access threshold value (a check for presence – Nokia's position); or
(b) Use the set of access authorisation data sent by the network to all users to check which route to access should be used by the specific subscriber station in question (a check for relevance for access)."
i) Nokia's construction was more consistent with the language of the claims;
ii) Provided that one understood the 13 bit pattern as being an addition to the two 10 bit patterns, then all the embodiments will carry out a check for presence of an access threshold value;
iii) Unless the 10 bit embodiment was included in all the claims, it was difficult to understand how the advantage of improved transmission capacity was obtained by the invention.
i) The patent is about an individual subscriber station being able to determine the appropriate access management procedure from the same information sent to all subscribers. This is achieved by a check which determines whether the data comprises an access value for access management of that subscriber station.
ii) Nokia's approach is inconsistent with the second embodiment (on the footing that the skilled person would appreciate it was a freestanding embodiment). There the access threshold information is always sent, and so a check of the Nokia variety would have no purpose.
iii) Moreover, on Nokia's approach the patent would effectively be for sending a flag to tell the mobile whether access threshold information is present, an idea which both sides contend to be entirely trivial.
iv) IPCom's construction was consistent with that arrived at by the Mannheim District Court in its decision dated 27th February 2009 in a case brought by IPCom against High Tech Computer Corporation and HTC Europe Limited. Nokia's construction was not. In that case Judges Voss, Gredner-Stelgleider and Schmidt, having considered the disclosure of the 189 patent, said:"the content check according to [this claim feature] does not consist of a "presence check" that is, it does not ask if an access threshold is contained in the transmitted access authorisation data, but rather that the check described in the patent document serves to determine whether the received access authorisation data should make access for a specific mobile station to the telecommunications channel dependent on the comparison of a random number within an access threshold value, hence part of the access authorisation data should be given relevance to the access threshold value for the specific mobile station.
i) Firstly I think the skilled person, as I have said, would not expect a method which uses the 13 bit pattern alone to be outside the claims, which it would be on Nokia's construction. Although the skilled person would see that the patentee had contemplated a "combined" system, as shown in the flow charts, that person would also understand that the 10 bit pattern and 13 bit pattern could be used on their own.
ii) Secondly it is, as always, important to have in mind the patentee's purpose. What underlies the invention is an allegedly novel method of allocating access rights under the control of the network. A method which merely checks for the presence of the access threshold value does not get anywhere near achieving this.
iii) Thirdly, as to using a minimum of the transmission capacity, neither construction fits very well with the passage at page 2 lines 31 to 35. Nokia say that the saving is of the three bit difference between the 13 and 10 bit patterns. But I do not think this can be right. Firstly, the comparison is more likely to be with something which has gone before, such as Motorola than with something which follows. Secondly, those 3 bits of transmission capacity will be spared some of the time, but not while the system is using the 13 bit embodiment. The sentence is in any case a slightly odd one, as it explains the reason for the saving as "it is effected merely by transmitting the access threshold value". This is not correct, as it is necessary to send the S4 bit as well.
The prior art
Lack of novelty over GPRS
Lack of inventive step over GPRS
"Q. What I want to suggest to you is if you were reading the GPRS standard in 1999, it would not at all be obvious to make that optional when hundreds of researchers had been saying over an extended period you always send it.
A. It would not be an obviously beneficial step to take."
"This immediately highlights that the access to the reverse channel by the subscribers must be carefully managed due to the risk of multiple devices attempting to use the channel at the same instant, which results in collisions and a waste of the available bandwidth"
The (dis)/favoured users aspect
"In addition, specific subscriber devices 26 could be favoured or disfavoured by providing them a non-random selection of the value for comparison to the broadcast value."
"Mr Wyand submitted that it is the task of the court to determine what Saito clearly and distinctly taught the skilled person at the priority date, not what can be read out of Saito by the application of hermeneutical stress. This admirable phrase concisely describes the process of squeezing a document to extract every last drop of meaning. The submission is correct: to anticipate, a document must contain a clear description of, or clear and unmistakable directions to do or make, something within the claim: see General Tire v Firestone  RPC 457. When considering obviousness, on the other hand, ambiguities in the disclosure of the document may be obviously capable of resolution in a particular way without the exercise of ingenuity: but it is not legitimate to try to resolve obscurity by an exercise in imaginative reconstruction to ascertain what it was that the patentee [of the prior art] must have been trying to describe."
the contention/reservation aspect
"The present invention consists of a forward channel data stream (broadcast by the base station) that is delineated into forward channel blocks (the data contained in each block is ordinarily protected against channel impairments and errors by an error detecting and correcting FEC code). The block boundaries are identified by the inclusion of a forward channel synchronisation word within each block. Furthermore, embedded in each block is a Reservation/contention flag and a Reservation Identifier. The Reservation/contention flag is used to indicate to the population of subscriber devices that the reverse channel is available for contention access or whether it has been allocated to a specific device for a reservation transmission."
Lack of novelty/obviousness over Ericsson
i) The system discussed in Ericsson is about access to two different channels, as compared to 189 which is about access to a single random access channel which may be in shared use;
ii) Ericsson does not have "prescribed user classes" in the sense in which that phrase is used in the 189 patent, even taking on board the point about a user class being a class of one mobile;
iii) Ericsson does not perform a check within the meaning of the claim;
Obviousness over common general knowledge alone
Infringement by the Nokia N96
Infringement – the New Device
Mobile telephone networks generally: Cellular Networks, Handover
The GSM radio interface and channels
Burst types and structures
Frequency correction burst
Modulation of the carrier wave, MSK, GMSK, 8PSK and inter-symbol interference
In-phase and quadrature signal components
Propagation of the carrier wave
Requirements for time and frequency synchronization
Development of GSM