Archive | Patent Claim Construction

Does Claim Construction Matter in Determining Patent-Eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101?

Patent applicants and owners should position claims for narrow constructions where subject matter is susceptible to challenge under 35 U.S.C. § 101, suggests a recent decision from the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).  In a Covered Business Method (CBM) review Final Written Decision, the PTAB held that claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,402,281, […]

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Federal Circuit Reverses PTAB Claim Construction as Unreasonably Broad

The Federal Circuit recently clarified that the “broadest reasonable interpretation” of claims construed in an inter partes review (“IPR”) must still be “reasonable.” In PPC Broadband, Inc. v. Corning Optical Communications RF, LLC, No. 2015-1564 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 22, 2016), the court vacated and remanded a decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) […]

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Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB’s CBM Determinations

The PTAB was not arbitrary and capricious in determining that patent claims directed to transmitting digital data were Covered Business Method (CBM) claims, despite a seeming recitation of technological elements, and an omission of any explicit recitation of a financial element.  SightSound Technologies v. Apple, Inc., No.s 2015-1159, 2015-1160 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 15, 2015).  Although […]

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PTAB Reverses Rejection Because Patent Examiner Applied a “Broader Than Reasonable Interpretation”

Patent examiners often rely on claim interpretations that seem ridiculous to applicants. Here is a case showing that applicants should push back in such situations when claims are rejected under a “broadest reasonable interpretation.” Moreover, the case shows applicants that, contrary to examiners’ admonitions that the specification will not be read into the claims, clear […]

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Different Patent Claim Terms Can Have Same Meaning

Courts will presume different meanings attach to different words when construing claim language. See, e.g., Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. U.S. Surgical Corp., 93 F.3d 1572, 1579 (Fed. Cir. 1996) (reversing lower court’s ruling that a “pusher assembly” and a “pusher bar” have the same meaning). But a recent Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision construed […]

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Learning from a Finding of Indefiniteness at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

A recent decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) provides a lesson in avoiding indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. § 112(b). In In re Hyde, Appeal 2013-003305, Application 12/387,151 (PTAB Nov. 4, 2015), the Applicant appealed prior art rejections under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102(b) and 103 only to have these grounds of rejection mooted […]

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Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Has Limits

Every patent practitioner has felt the frustration that the USPTO’s “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard for claim construction seems to mean that claims say whatever the Patent Office wants them to mean. However, the Federal Circuit has reaffirmed that the standard does have limits. In Straight Path IP Group, Inc. v. Sipnet EU S.R.O., No. 15-1212 […]

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Federal Circuit Reverses Software System Patent Claim Construction

In an opinion authored by Chief Judge Rader, and joined by Judges Dyk and Taranto, the Federal Circuit has reversed and vacated a summary judgment of non-infringement in favor of Google, finding that the district court based its finding of non-infringement on an erroneous claim construction.  Vederi, LLC v. Google, Inc., No. 13-1057 (Fed. Cir. […]

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Common Meaning Given to Claim Language Using Terms of Art

A question of infringement turned on the meaning of “gateway” in the phrase “intelligent gateway” in a patent claim.  The Federal Circuit agreed that a district court was entitled to consult technical dictionaries and use commonly understood meanings of the word to construe the claim.  Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court’s claim construction, and […]

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When are Hardware AND Software Required to Infringe Patent Claims?

A district court properly construed patent claims as requiring both hardware and software, and properly granted summary judgment of non-infringement where the defendants’ products used  potentially infringing hardware, but did not license or use software that would have been necessary to complete the infringement.  Nazomi Communications, Inc. v. Nokia Corp., No. 2013-1165 (Fed. Cir. Jan. […]

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