WISCONSIN ALUMNI RESEARCH v. APPLE INC., decided Sept. 28, 2018, Non-Infringement

U.S. Patent No. 5,781,752 is directed predicting data dependency is executing programs out of order (pages 2-4).  Historical mis-predictions inform future predictions (page 6).  The accused devices predict in a way that multiple instructions may update a same prediction (page 7).  Claim 1 requires a predictor that “produces a prediction associated with the particular instruction” (pages 5 and 9).  “Particular” has an ordinary meaning requiring association with a single instruction (page 11).  Since each tag of the accused devices may be associated with a group of load instructions, there is no prediction for a particular instruction (page 12).  A given instruction always being assigned to the same prediction ignores whether other instructions also are assigned to that same prediction (pages 12-13). 

Hindsight:  Exclusionary language, such as “all” or, in this case, “particular,” may limit claims in narrow ways.  Assuming it was not needed for patentability, “particular” could have been left out of the claim.  It appears “particular” was used instead of “the” or “first,” as there is no antecedent basis for “particular.”  It may be useful to read a claim and determine what words may be left out or add unintended narrowing.