Christopher Francis
Principal author, The Claims Interpreted Report

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 t… Read More

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 a… Read More

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, t… Read More

PTAB Reverses Obviousness Rejection because Nothing “Ties” Approaches of Prior Art References Together

In Ex parte Gilbert (Appeal 2012/005795; App. No. 11/200,749), the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (PTAB) held that the Examiner had not established that one of ordinary skill in the art would have had an apparent reason to combin… Read More

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 f… Read More

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… Read More

Upcoming Webinar

Christoper Francis and Charles Bieneman will conduct Part Two of a two-part webinar to discuss best practices for preparing, and then prosecuting, patent applications at the USPTO. The presentation will dive underneath the basic legal requirement…Register

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