Tuesday, December 13, 2016

CAFC in Medgraph v. Medtronic discusses the meaning of "and" and "or"

The issue

Medgraph argues that the district court erred in construing
the claim limitation “and” to mean “and” instead
of “or.” Under the district court’s construction, claim 16
requires both computer (e.g., Internet) and telephone
capabilities for receiving and transmitting data. Medgraph
maintains that the written description supports a
disjunctive construction because it repeatedly states that
the invention transmits data either through “a common
network, over telephone lines, or over the Internet.” See,
e.g., ’124 patent col. 2 ll. 32–33 (emphasis added).

Medtronic responds that the district court correctly
held that “and” means “and” because claim terms are to
be given their plain and ordinary meaning. Additionally,
Medtronic argues, the written description teaches that
the invention possesses both computer and telephonic
capabilities, but only uses one at a time. See, e.g., id. col.
6 ll. 32–41 (describing the “high-tech” and “low-tech”
“utilization[s]” of the invention).

From the decision:

Because the written description does not compel a
disjunctive construction for “and,” the claim term should
be given its plain and ordinary meaning. Phillips v. AWH
Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc). We
therefore conclude that the district court correctly construed
the limitation “and” to mean “and,” rather than

It is undisputed that Medtronic’s CareLink System is
not capable of transmitting patient data by telephone.
Because claim 16, as properly construed, requires that the
means for receiving and transmitting data include both
computer and telephonic capabilities, we conclude that
the district court correctly granted summary judgment of
noninfringement of claim 16 of the ’124 patent.


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