Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Phillips v. AWH decided July 12; Phillips gets remand

The en banc CAFC rejected the arguments of AWH in favor of a restrictive definition of the word "baffles." The summary judgment of noninfringement was reversed.

The en banc CAFC decided not to address the issue of deference to the trial court on issues of claim construction, which leaves the ruling in Cybor intact.

At page 21 of the opinion, the CAFC began its discussion of Texas Digital. At page 23, the CAFC stated Texas Digital placed too much reliance on extrinsic sources such as dictionaries. That approach improperly restricts the role of the specification in claim construction. Elevating the dictionary to such prominence focuses the inquiry on the abstract meaning of words rather than on the meaning in context of the patent. At page 31, the CAFC reaffirmed the approach to claim construction in Vitronics, Markman, and Innova.

Opinion available:

I had pointed out here on August 31, 2004:

One suspects that several recent decisions (for example this case and the Innova case) are allowing different judges to express viewpoints relevant to the upcoming en banc review of the Texas Digital line of cases in the Phillips case.

One sees Innova was indeed favorably cited in the en banc Phillips case.


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