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England and Wales High Court (Patents Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Patents Court) Decisions >> Vringo Infrastructure Inc v ZTE (UK) Ltd  EWHC 3924 (Pat) (28 November 2014)
Cite as:  EWHC 3924 (Pat)
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[HC 12 D 03895 (old case number)]
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| VRINGO INFRASTRUCTURE INC.
|- and -
|ZTE (UK) LIMITED
Daniel Alexander QC and Isabel Jamal (instructed by Olswang) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st October, 3rd and 4th November 2014
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Birss:
|Introduction and the issues||1|
|The irrelevant prejudice||4|
|The technical background||7|
|The prior art, the relevant standards and the invention||39|
|The skilled person and the common general knowledge||68|
|The patent specification||71|
The irrelevant prejudice
i) In figure 1 the phone is connected to one Node B controlled by RNC #1. That RNC is called the sRNC or serving RNC. The messages between the phone and the MSC pass from RNC #1 to the MSC (thicker, red line).
ii) In figure 2 the phone has moved so as to be within range of two cells and a simultaneous connection with a new Node B has been formed. That new Node B is controlled by RNC #2. This situation is inter-RNS soft handover. The signals to and from the phone now follow two paths. Running from the phone one path passes to the original Node B, up to the sRNC. The other path passes to the new Node B and up to a new RNC referred to in this context as the drift RNC or dRNC. The signals from that phone are then passed by the dRNC directly to the sRNC. Note the direct connection between the two RNCs. In the GSM system there was no equivalent direct connection between two BSCs. The sRNC is then able to combine all the signals from phone and it still maintains the connection with the MSC. As far as the MSC is concerned, the RNC which relates to the phone is the sRNC.
iii) In figure 3 the phone has now moved closer to the new Node B. The radio link with the old Node B has been dropped. The phone only communicates with one Node B. But nothing much has changed as far as the RNCs are concerned. The old sRNC and dRNC are still performing those roles. The MSC still looks to the sRNC as the link to the phone. This arrangement is possible but does not make much sense in the long term. The sRNC is managing a user who is not connected to any of its Node Bs. It would make sense to change things so that the dRNC becomes the sRNC for the phone. This process of change is SRNS relocation.
iv) Figure 4 depicts the result of SRNS relocation. The RNC which was the dRNC has now become the sRNC. The old sRNC no longer has anything to do with the phone. The connection with the MSC is now between the new sRNC and the MSC.
Protocols, layers and planes
|Application layer protocol|
|Presentation layer protocol|
|Session layer protocol|
|Transport layer protocol|
|Network layer protocol|
|Data link layer protocol|
|Physical layer protocol|
Protocols and interfaces
Information elements, field elements and messages
Protocol transparency and network transparency
The prior art, the relevant standards and the invention
The person skilled in the art and the common general knowledge
The patent specification
(a) A method in a communication system for relocating a protocol termination point, characterised in the steps of:
(b) using a first protocol to define a protocol initialization unit (20) at a first termination point of a first protocol (34), said protocol initialization unit containing predefined information pertaining to initialization of a second termination point (36) of said first protocol;
(c) transferring the protocol initialization unit from the first termination point to a second termination point by a second protocol; and
(d) initializing the second termination point based on the protocol initialization unit (38);
(e) wherein the protocol initialization unit (20) is transparent for the second protocol.
(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) 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?
"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."
PDUs and the protocol layer stack
An analogy with GSM external handover and BSSMAP
The number of RRC parameters needed
Inventive step overall
Obviousness over 413, 359 and common general knowledge alone