Klarquist Files Amicus Curiae Brief Asking Supreme Court To End Patent Claim-Construction Divide In Federal Circuit

Published November 20, 2019

Klarquist filed an Amicus Curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 19, on behalf of the High Tech Inventors Alliance (whose members include Adobe, Amazon.com, Cisco, Dell, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce), supporting Intel’s certiorari petition asking the Court to end a decades-long divide at the Federal Circuit over perhaps the most consequential issue in any patent dispute: how to construe a patent claim. Read the Amicus Brief here.

For at least two decades, the Federal Circuit has split between a “contextual construction” school and an “acontextual-presumption” school. “It is no secret among patent practitioners that panels on the [Federal Circuit] have at least two divergent approaches to claim construction, and that they use these approaches ‘interchangeably,’” Amy Semet, Specialized Trial Courts in Patent Litigation: A Review of the Patent Pilot Program’s Impact on Appellate Reversal Rates at the Five-Year Mark, 60 B.C. L. Rev. 519, 577 (2019). This divide is taxing on innovators, creating unnecessary unpredictability resulting in wasteful litigation, and has harmed large and small U.S. technology companies by discouraging them from reaching agreement on patent licenses.

The brief asks the Supreme Court to end the persistent conflict at the Federal Circuit and to approve the contextual school of patent claim construction. Klarquist attorneys Sarah Jelsema and John Vandenberg are on the brief.