CAFC vacates PTAB decision in case involving US 8,323,060, IPR2013- 00342
PPC Broadband, Inc. appeals from the United States
Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal
Board’s (“Board”) final written decision in an inter partes
review (“IPR”) concluding that claims 10–25 of U.S.
Patent No. 8,323,060 would have been obvious. Because
we conclude that the Board erred in its construction of
“reside around,” we vacate and remand for further proceedings.
What does the word "around" mean?
As the Board noted, the primary and secondary definitions
of the term “around” in THE AMERICAN HERITAGE
COLLEGE DICTIONARY (4th ed. 2002) are “1. On all sides of:
trees around the field. 2. In such a position as to encircle
or surround: a sash around the waist.” J.A. 65 (citing J.A.
2966). These definitions would support PPC Broadband’s
proposed construction. The fourth definition of “around”
in THE AMERICAN HERITAGE COLLEGE DICTIONARY is “in
the immediate vicinity of; near: She lives around Norfolk.”
J.A. 2966. This definition would support the Board’s
The fact that “around” has multiple dictionary meanings
does not mean that all of these meanings are reasonable
interpretations in light of this specification. And we
conclude that in this context the Board’s construction is
not reasonable. Claim 10 and indeed all of the claims of
the ’060 patent claim coaxial cable connectors. The components
of these connectors—for example, the nut, the
post, the body, and the continuity member—partially or
wholly encircle the inner electrical conductor. See ’060
patent, fig. 1. For the most part, each of these components
has a geometry that is symmetrical around the
inner electrical conductor. Id. Given the context of this
technology, it seems odd to construe the term “reside
around” without recognizing the context of its use in
terms of the coaxial cable at issue.