Steve Adrian & John Kong

Recent Articles by Livid About Non-precedential Avid Decision from Federal Circuit

Livid About Non-precedential Avid Decision from Federal Circuit

When an element is claimed using language falling under the scope of §112, ¶6, the specification must be consulted to determine the structure, material, or acts corresponding to the function recited in means-plus-function element in the claim. As emphasized by the Federal Circuit, “the ‘broadest reasonable interpretation’ that an examiner may give means-plus-function language is that statutorily mandated in paragraph six…, the PTO may not disregard the structure disclosed in the specification corresponding to such language when rendering a patentability determination.” In re Donaldson, 16 F.3d 1189, 1194 (Fed. Cir. 1994)(en banc); see also, MPEP 2182, 8th Ed. (August 2012). But here, the Federal Circuit held that there was no error in the Board’s reliance on the broadest reasonable interpretation for language appearing in a seemingly means-plus-function claim element.