Christopher Francis
Principal author, The Claims Interpreted Report

Differing Claim Terms Construed with Same Definition

Can a court construe two different terms in two different claims the same way? If the specification uses those phrases in the same way, then yes. In Pavo Solutions, LLC v. Kingston Technology Company, Inc., Nos. 2016-2209, 2016-23… Read More

CAFC Affirms PTAB Claim Construction of “Connected”

In Ignite USA, LLC. V. Camelback Products, LLC., No. 2016-2747 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 12, 2017), the Federal Circuit upheld the PTAB’s inter parte review claim construction that the claim term “connected” does not require a permane… Read More

Strategies for Functional Patent Claims

The Federal Circuit’s decision to weaken the presumption against interpreting patent claims under 35 U.S.C. § 112(f) (or 112, sixth paragraph), in Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, in 2015, highlighted the challenges that funct… Read More

Precedential PTAB Ex Parte Decision on Indefiniteness

In an Ex parte McAward, Appeal No. 2015-006416 (published August 25, 2017), the Patent Trial and Appeals Board ruled that the Supreme Court opinion in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. does not mandate a change in the US… Read More

Words of Approximation: The Fine Line between being Definite or Indefinite in Prosecution

A search of PTAB ex partes appeals over the past three months shows that relatively few decisions have dealt with words of approximation.  The two recent ex partes decisions discussed below both determine whether the claim term … Read More

Fed. Cir: Patent Claim Not Indefinite System/Method Hybrid

A patent claim directed to a system comprising multiple elements including a “CRM software application” that according to the claim “presents,” “receives,” and “generates” various data was not indefinite under 35 U… Read More

Routine Steps Fail to Transform Abstract Idea

Claims that fail to explicitly recite a specific way to solve a specific technological problem are at risk under §101, especially when the underlying technology is known and only implements routine steps. Such claims fail to tran… Read More

Markman Order Broadens Claim Construction with Claim Differentiation

The Court construed “slidably interconnected” to include both direct and indirect connection based on claim differentiation in the Markman order in National Products, Inc. v. Arkon Resources, Inc. (Case No. C15-1984JLR, WDWA,… Read More

Description of “The Invention” in Specification Limits Claim Construction

In the Claim Construction Order (dated September 18, 2017) in Gutterglove, Inc. v. American Die and Rollforming (Case 2:16-cf-02408-WHO, EDCA), the Court read a limitation from the specification into the claim construction of the… Read More

Improper Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Led to Finding of Nonobviousness

In Owens Corning v. Fast Felt Corporation (decided October 11, 2017), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s finding that obviousness was not proven in an inter parte revie… Read More

Upcoming Webinar

Functional Claiming After Williamson v. Citrix
December 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm EST
During the webinar, Charles Bieneman will cover strategies for avoiding – or embracing – functional claim interpretations, and for avoiding findings that functional claim language is indefinite. Register

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