Nazomi Commc'ns, Inc. v. Nokia Corp., No. 13-1165 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The central processing unit (CPU) enables a computing device to execute instructions contained in software. For software to run on CPU, it must be compiled or translated from high-level programming language, written in a human-readable syntax (source code), into machine-readable form (machine code), which is processor-specific. Particular compilers can only translate programs into machine code for particular processors. Java is programming language that allows developers to write programs that can run on different processors without being recompiled for each system by using a single compiler that translates Java programs into “bytecodes” instead of processor-specific machine code. Java bytecodes do not run directly on the CPU, but on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that translates them into processor-specific machine code. Programs written in Java can run on any platform and any operating system. Computing devices also vary in how they store data in memory. Machine code or “instruction sets” may be “stack-based” or “register-based.” Although most modern processors use a register-based approach, Java bytecodes are stack-based. A device using a register-based processor can run Java programs using a JVM that translates into register-based instructions, but it takes longer. Nazomi has two patents that address the issue, describing a hardware-based JVM capable of processing stack-based instructions, that also can run legacy (register-based) applications without using the JVM. Defendants are manufacturers that incorporate processors into their products. Nazomi sued, alleging patent infringement. The district court granted defendants summary judgment, construing the asserted claims to require a hardware and software combination capable of processing both register-based and stack-based instructions; without the enabling certain software, the hardware at issue cannot process stack-based instructions. Defendants’ apparatuses do not include that software. The Federal Circuit affirmed.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on January 13, 2014.