Posts Tagged: "claim construction"

CAFC Refuses to Clarify Claims Construction Law, Deference

I have wondered out loud whether the Judges of the Federal Circuit realize that the outcome is unpredictable until the panel has been announced. It seems that at least some do. How is that defensible? How do others not on the Court not see a problem? The law needs to be certain and predictable and at the Federal Circuit far too many times it is neither. Claims construction is but one of the areas as clear as mud. The Federal Circuit was created to bring certainty to the law, but what has transpired over the course of the last 10 years or so seems to be anything but certainty and stability. For crying out loud a patent is a property right and for any property rights regime to flourish it must be stable and certain! In the words of this generation: OMG!

The Doctrine of Claim Differentiation: Who Got It Right in Retractable Technologies?

Whether the term “body” encompassed “multi-piece” structures became the crux of the claim construction issues in Retractable Technologies. The District Court for Eastern Texas, apparently applying the doctrine of claim differentiation, construed independent Claims 1 and 43 to cover a “body” which might be a “multi-piece” structure. Accordingly, the District Court denied post-trial motions by the alleged infringer (Becton Dickinson or “BD”) to overturn the jury verdict that BD infringed these Claims of the ‘224 patent. Judge Lourie (writing for the panel majority) reversed the District Court, ruling that the term “body” was limited to a “one-piece” structure in light of the ‘224 patent specification.

Judge Dyk Suggests En Banc Review of CAFC Preamble Law

I would also like to take issue with Judge Dyk’s statement that it would simply be easier, and better, to say that anything in the preamble is limiting. Yes, that would certainly be easier and probably a better approach than the nebulous standard presently in place, but I doubt that would be to the Supreme Court’s liking given they seem to detest bright line rules, even when they make sense. I also protest such an approach because that has, as far as I can tell, never been the law, or at least not at any time during my practice career. So regardless of whether it is a better test it absolutely should not be applied retroactively to affect those rights obtained under the belief that what is in the preamble is not limiting.

Pressure Products v. Greatbatch: Why Another 5 Judge Panel?

Nothing in the appealed issues in Pressure Products (claim construction, denial of motion for JMOL, leave to amend answer) even remotely hints at or suggests the basis for this five judge panel. In fact, Pressure Products has all the markings of a fairly ordinary, garden variety patent infringement case. So why not the standard three judge panel? Not a word of explanation.

CAFC Rules Claim Terms Must Be Construed in Context

The meaning of words often depends on the context in which they appear.  That principle is also true of terms which appear in patent claims.  In Ultimax Cement Manufacturing Corp. v. CTS Cement Manufacturing Corp., the Federal Circuit reaffirmed that the context matters in reversing a district court grant of summary judgment that certain patent claims were not infringed or…

Does the Federal Circuit Give Enough Deference?

The attorneys for 800 Adapt, Inc. have recently filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari review of 800 Adapt, Inc. v. Murex Sec. Ltd., 539 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2008) claiming that the Federal Circuit does not provide enough deference to district courts on claim construction and they should. According to Stephen Milbrath and David Magana of Orlando based Allen…

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