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We will not reverse if, considering the record as a whole, the erroneous instruction

“could not have affected the outcome of the case.” Wright v. Ford Motor Co., 508 F.3d

263, 268 (5th Cir. 2007).

II. Claim Construction

On appeal, we must decide whether the district court properly construed the

claim term “distinct.” In the asserted claims, the term “distinct” is used to describe how

the metacode map and the mapped content are stored. Specifically, the claims say the

metacode map is stored in “distinct map storage means” or “distinct storage means.”

See, e.g., ’449 Patent col.16 ll.20, 25-26, 53-54. Analogously, the document’s content

is stored in “mapped content storage,” id. at col.16 ll.22-23, or “mapped content distinct

storage means.” Id. at col.15 l.51 (emphasis added).

Before the district court, Microsoft argued that “distinct” added two requirements:

(1) storing the metacode map and mapped content in separate files, not just separate

portions of the computer’s memory; and (2) the ability to edit the document’s content

and its metacode map “independently and without access” to each other.

The district court rejected both of Microsoft’s proposed limitations. Based on its

review of the claim language, the specification, and prosecution history, the district court

concluded that “distinct” did not require storage in separate files. Similarly, it concluded

that the user’s ability to independently edit the document’s structure or content was a

benefit

of

separate

storage,

not

a

claim

limitation.

The

district

court

then

defined

“distinct map storage means” in more general terms, as “a portion of memory for storing

a metacode map.” “Mapped content distinct storage means” was defined as “a portion

of memory for storing mapped content.”

2009-1504

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