Friday, July 31, 2015

CAFC reverses WDNC in Blue Ridge case; synecdoche not inherently ambiguous

There was a claim construction issue in SOCIEDAD ESPANOLA DE ELECTROMEDICINA Y
CALIDAD, S.A. v. Blue Ridge ; Phillips was cited:

Claim terms are generally given “the meaning that
the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the
art in question at the time of the invention.” Phillips v.
AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en
banc) (citations omitted). “[T]he person of ordinary skill
in the art is deemed to read the claim term not only in the
context of the particular claim in which the disputed term
appears, but in the context of the entire patent, including
the specification.” Id. at 1313.

The parties dispute the proper construction of two
claim terms: “two insulated chambers” and “magnetic
core.” Because the district court relied only on intrinsic
evidence in its claim construction, we review its claim
construction entirely de novo.

[So the Teva decision is not at play here.]

The issue on insulated chambers:

The district court recognized that construing “insulated
chambers” as electrically insulated “has a common
sense appeal.” Construction Op. at *7. Nevertheless, it
concluded that the patentees disavowed this definition
during prosecution. Id. at *8–10. The district court
placed great weight on the patentees’ statement during
prosecution describing their invention as requiring “different
and isolated chambers,” quoting this language
three different times. Id. at *9, *10 (quoting ’534 application
at applicants remarks (May 27, 2003) (emphases in
original)). The district court’s quote of the prosecution
history was inaccurate.
The prosecution history refers to
the chambers as being “different and insulated,” but
never refers to them as being isolated. What was referred
to as being “isolated” were the “different and
isolated columns.” ’534 application, applicants remarks
(May 27, 2003). The prosecution history thus fails to
support the district court’s characterization of the two
chambers as being so isolated that nothing can pass from
one to the other. The prosecution history certainly does
not rise to the level of a clear and unmistakable disavowal.
Blue Ridge argues that the plain and ordinary meaning
of “chambers” requires some sort of an enclosure.
True enough. But Blue Ridge has failed to show that such
an enclosure must be so closed or isolated as to prevent oil
or other elements from passing from one enclosure to


Thus, the proper construction of “two insulated chambers”
is “two electrically insulated chambers.”

** As to magnetic core:

Blue Ridge argues that a synecdoche is inherently
ambiguous and should, therefore, be construed against
SEDECAL. That is not the law. Where a claim term
“ha[s] more than one plain and ordinary meaning,” we
look to the specification to ascertain which definition is
intended. See Kaneka Corp. v. Xiamen Kingdomway Grp.
Co., --- F.3d ----, 2015 WL 3613644, at *4 (Fed. Cir. June
10, 2015).
From the foregoing, we conclude that the phrase
“magnetic core” as used in the specification of the ’829
patent refers to core legs connected by yokes. The district
court’s contrary conclusion is unsupported by the specification
and is erroneous.



Post a Comment

<< Home