Friday, July 14, 2017

The CAFC does colons and semicolons in Securus

From the decision:

Securus contends that the Board erred in construing
the access attempt limitation because (1) the limitation is
followed by a colon and only the prompting step follows
that colon, while the other steps are offset by semicolons,
and (2) the Board improperly relied on the ipse dixit
testimony of Dr. Forys that the access attempt limitation
begins with the prompting step and ends with the granting
step. See Appellant Br. at 32–34. We disagree.
In an IPR, the Board affords claim terms their broadest
reasonable interpretation consistent with the specification.
Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, __ U.S. __, 136
S. Ct. 2131, 2142–46 (2016).

Here, although the Board may have been quick to
consult Dr. Forys’ testimony in construing the access
attempt limitation, the Board still arrived at the proper
interpretation in light of the intrinsic evidence. See
Microsoft Corp., 789 F.3d at 1297 (“To the extent the
Board considered extrinsic evidence when construing the
claims, we need not consider the Board’s findings on that
evidence because the intrinsic record is clear.” (citing
Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303, 1318 (Fed. Cir.
2005) (en banc))). We generally agree with Securus that
the colon following the access attempt limitation is indicative
that a list of particulars is to follow. But the most
natural reading of the limitation is one that incorporates
all the steps from the beginning of the attempt to access
the telephone network to the end of that attempt.


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