Klarquist Files Brief Of Microsoft Corporation And Professors As Amici Curiae In Supreme Court Case On Patent Claim Construction: Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee

Published March 7, 2016

How an issued patent claim is construed depends on which judge construes it. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges give patent claims their “broadest reasonable interpretation” while trial judges give claims their “plain and ordinary meaning.” Petitioner asks the Supreme Court to force the PTAB to instead use the same “plain and ordinary meaning” methodology, while the Solicitor General defends the status quo. The argument is scheduled for April 25, 2016.

This Amici brief, filed by Klarquist March 7, notes that the label “plain and ordinary meaning,” harbors two starkly conflicting views of how to construe a patent claim, causing much inconsistency and inefficiency. Amici urge the Court to retire “plain and ordinary meaning” and instead endorse the claim-construction principles found in its precedents. First, the scope of a patent claim is limited by the claim language as understood by a skilled artisan at the time of the alleged invention and in the context of the specification and prosecution history. Second, it is limited, presumptively, by the scope of the patent’s disclosed invention. Third, narrowing amendments of a patent claim in the Patent Office are strictly construed against the patent owner. And, these principles should be applied uniformly by all judges.

Link to the Brief.