Thursday, May 09, 2013

Appellant wins on 112 P 6 in Ex parte MCCARTY

As to means plus function claims, from Ex parte MCCARTY :

The first step in construing a means-plus-function claim limitation “is to define the particular function of the claim limitation.” In re Aoyama, 656 F.3d 1293, 1296 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (quoting Golight, Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 355 F.3d 1327, 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2004)). The next step in construing a means- plus-function claim limitation “is to look to the specification and identify the corresponding structure for that function.” Id. at 1297 (quoting Golight, 355 F.3d at 1334). As explained in In re Donaldson, “the PTO may not disregard the structure disclosed in the specification corresponding to such language when rendering a patentability determination.” In re Donaldson Co., 16 F.3d 1189, 1195 (Fed. Cir. 1994). Rather, the PTO must look to the Specification and construe the “means” language recited in the claim as limited to the corresponding structure disclosed in the Specification and equivalents thereof. Id.


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