Monday, November 04, 2019

CAFC tackles meaning of "travel trailer"

The outcome:

Because we hold the
Board erred in concluding “travel trailer” does not limit the
scope of the claims, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Of the "structure" of a claim preamble, the CAFC noted

The parties dispute whether the preamble phrase
“travel trailer” limits the claims. Appellants begin by arguing that the claims have no preamble at all. They argue
that “[a] travel trailer having . . .” is not a preamble and
does not use a transition word. Appellants’ Br. 23. We do
not agree. Though this claim does not use the typical claim
language (comprising) which denotes the transition between the preamble and the body, the word “having” performs the same role here.

As to traval trailer:

To the extent that the Board determined that “travel
trailer” is simply a statement of intended use and not a
structural limitation, we do not agree. Appellants relied on
two pieces of extrinsic evidence, Miller and Woodall’s, to
support their assertion that “travel trailer” is a specific
type of recreational vehicle that includes a living quarters.


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