In Apple Inc. v. Motorola, Inc., Civil Action No. 11-8540 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 10, 2012), Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, sitting as a District Court Judge in a patent infringement case, issued a rare order requiring the parties to submit proposed claim constructions in “ordinary English.”
Patents offer the right to exclude all others from making, selling, using, importing or offering for sale, but only for articles and methods that fall within the claimed subject matter. Because of the complexities of technology, such claimed subject matter is often written in highly technical language that a jury must carefully parse through in order to understand. Courts have held that the meaning of such claims is a question of law, and so a judge is ultimately responsible for providing an understanding of the meaning of the claims to a jury. Courts typically require the parties to the controversy to propose each party’s version of how the claims should be construed and then a judge decides what the disputed claim terms mean. Then, the trial takes place using the court’s construction. Nevertheless, the court will frequently use parts of each party’s construction to create the court’s interpretation, which is then used by the jury in its deliberations.
Please see full alert below for more information.
Firefox recommends the PDF Plugin for Mac OS X for viewing PDF documents in your browser.
We can also show you Legal Updates using the Google Viewer; however, you will need to be logged into Google Docs to view them.
Please choose one of the above to proceed!
LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.