Monday, January 28, 2019

United Technologies prevails over GE in case involving “Bond Coat for Silicon Based Substrates.”

Of claim construction:

Claim terms are generally given their ordinary and
customary meaning, which is “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, 1312–13 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc).
In addition to the intrinsic evidence (i.e., the claims
themselves, the specification, and the prosecution history),
extrinsic evidence may be helpful in determining how
an ordinary artisan would have understood a claim term
at the time of the invention. Id. at 1317–18. These claim
construction principles are important even in an IPR like
this one, in which the claims are given the “broadest
reasonable interpretation” consistent with the specification.1
See Realtime Data, LLC v. Iancu, __ F.3d __, 2019
WL 149835, at *5 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 10, 2019).

Note the text of footnote 1:

This standard has recently changed. For IPR petitions
filed on or after November 13, 2018, the Board will
apply the Phillips claim-construction standard
. See
Changes to the Claim Construction Standard for
Interpreting Claims in Trial Proceedings Before the Patent
Trial and Appeal Board, 83 Fed. Reg. 51340 (Oct. 11,
2018) (to be codified at 37 C.F.R. pt. 42).

At issue was the meaning of the word "bond" in the text "bond layer":

UTC argues that the Board erred by construing “bond
layer” to not require any adherence quality. UTC notes
that the plain and ordinary meaning of “bond” means
adherence. Appellant’s. Br. 29 (citing J.A. 1082
(general purpose dictionary defining “bond” as “an adhesive,
cementing material, or fusible ingredient that combines,
unites, or strengthens” and “to cause to adhere firmly”)).
It also cites extrinsic evidence to argue that this common
understanding was prevalent in the art. E.g., J.A. 405–06
(“A silicon bond layer further improved the EBC durability
by providing stronger bonding of the coating.”)

The analysis by the CAFC gives intrinsic meaning to the word "bond":

GE does not argue that the claims and specification
give any different meaning to the word “bond.” Rather, it
argues that the claims and specification “describe the
‘bond layer’ solely in terms of its location and material
composition.” Appellee’s Br. 29. But describing “bond
layer” in terms of its location and material composition
would not be inconsistent with that same “bond layer”
having an adherence quality. In other words, the claimed
“bond layer” may have additional requirements as to its
location or material composition. See ’360 patent claim 1.
But those additional requirements do not mean that the
“bond layer” does not also have to bond. The specification’s
description of “bond layer” with reference to its
location and material composition does not indicate an
intent to depart from the term’s plain and ordinary meaning
with respect to bonding. We have considered GE’s
other claim-construction arguments but find them unpersuasive.
For the foregoing reasons, we adopt UTC’s
proposed construction and construe “bond layer” as “a
layer of material designed to adhere another layer to a


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