Ambiguous

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A Guide to Contract Interpretation - July 2014

In this issue: - Introduction - Contract-Interpretation Flow Chart - Contract-Interpretation Principles And Case-Law Supplement - Determine the intent of the parties with respect to the provision...more

In re Packard (Fed. Cir. 2014)

Often times it appears that, serendipitously or by design, the Federal Circuit issues an opinion on an aspect of patent law that the Supreme Court is also considering. And sometimes the shadow of the Court's impending...more

Inventors Take Note: Supreme Court to Decide How Ambiguous is Too Ambiguous for Patents

In a case argued in April, Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments, the U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to decide the question “how ambiguous can a patent claim be before it is invalid?” Regardless of the Court’s decision, the case...more

Bet on David, Not Goliath - or Why Ambiguities in an Insurance Policy Favor the Insured

When does the little guy ever win a contract battle? When the contract is an insurance policy, of course! It's an age-old story played out in case after case: Ambiguous terms in an insurance policy will be strictly construed...more

Ambiguities In Reinsurance Broker Agreement Preclude Summary Judgment

A federal district court in Arkansas recently examined provisions of a Broker Authorization Agreement between a reinsurance broker (Global Risk) and a ceding insurer (Aetna). In denying cross-motions for summary judgment on...more

Is “Insolubly Ambiguous” the Correct Standard to Determine Compliance with Sec 112?

The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on a petition challenging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s standard for determining when a patent claim is indefinite under 35 U.S.C. §112, ¶ 2. See IP Update,...more

US Court of Appeals Revises Opinion: Section 1782’s Use in Arbitration Ambiguous

With the Eleventh Circuit’s revision, using Section 1782 to request the production of evidence in private international commercial arbitrations remains uncertain. On January 10, the US Court of Appeals for the...more

One Policy Term, May Have Two Meanings

A California Court of Appeal held in Transport Ins. Co. v. Superior Ct. (R.R. Street & Co.) that a named insured’s reasonable expectations of coverage can be different from those of an additional insured’s. This ruling leaves...more

A Pinch of SALT: 20 Years of Ambiguity in Addback Statutes

It has been more than 20 years since Ohio enacted legislation requiring taxpayers to add back some expenses paid to related parties for state income tax purposes. Since then, more than 20 states have enacted similar...more

The Problem of Patent Glossaries Part I: Ambiguity in Patent Claims and the Nature of Meaning

What motivates the USPTO to consider the use of glossaries in patent applications is surely the hue and cry that software patents are frequently, if not inherently, vague and ambiguous, and that something must be done to help...more

Court favors plain and ordinary meaning of policy terms when insured claims policy language is ambiguous

In Glassman, the plaintiff insured sued his disability insurer, Crown Life, claiming that while Crown Life had been paying his disability claim for well over two decades, it had failed to increase his benefits each year due...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Oct 18, 2013

New York Court Rules That Conflict Between Exclusion and Grant of Coverage Created Ambiguity in Exclusion Requiring Trial - Why it matters: In a coverage dispute arising out of the Madoff debacle, a financial bond...more

A Guide to Contract Interpretation - October 2013

In This Guide: - Introduction - Contract-Interpretation Flow Chart - Contract-Interpretation Principles And Case-Law Supplement - Excerpt From: Introduction: Transactional attorneys and...more

How will a court construe ambiguities in ERISA plan terms?

If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms”, ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator. Here’s the case of Porter v. Lowe’s Companies, __ F.3d__ (5th Cir....more

Ambiguity Remains Regarding Threshold for Leave under Part XXIII.1

Ontario’s statutory regime for secondary market liability came into effect in 2006 as a result of amendments to the Securities Act (Ontario) (OSA), which created a statutory cause of action for deficient market disclosure...more

What Amount of Deference, If Any, Is Accorded to CMS' Interpretation of the State Operations Manual?

On May 17, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Court) ruled on a Petition for Review of a Decision of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in the case styled, Elgin...more

Lessons Learned from Litigators: How to Avoid Litigation When Doing a Deal

In this Publication: - 2.1 Introduction 2–1 - 2.2 General Considerations About Contract Drafting 2–2 - § 2.2.1 Does the Contract Reflect a “Meeting of the Minds”? 2–2 - § 2.2.2 The Words of the...more

Doctrine of “Patent Ambiguity” Bars Contractor’s Substantial Claim For Extra Work

The Appellate Division recently affirmed a trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of the County of Union (the “County”) on a contractor’s extra work claim for $631,895.27 arising from an ambiguity in the contract...more

Judge Plager (Fed. Cir.) Suggests Construing Ambiguous Claims Against the Patent Holder

On August 6, 2013, the Federal Circuit issued a 48-page opinion in 3M Innovative Props. Co. v. Tredegar Corp., in which it dissected in excruciating detail the construction of patent claims directed to “elastomeric laminates”...more

Federal Circuit Finds “Molecular Weight” to Be Insolubly Ambiguous

In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Federal Circuit invalidated a number of claims directed to a polymer defined by its “molecular weight” because the term was ambiguous, and Applicants’ conflicting...more

Claim Construction Not Illuminated By Ambiguous Restriction Requirement

In Plantronics, Inc. v. Alph, Inc., the Federal Circuit rejected arguments that the election made in response to the Restriction Requirement limited the scope of the claims in a manner that was not reflected in the claim...more

Eighth Circuit Adopts An Expansive Definition of Newly Acquired Property

On July 23, a unanimous panel of the 8th Circuit held that it was reasonable to contend that a port terminal, where a shipping company hired by the policyholder had stored a piece of the insured’s equipment for six days,...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Jul 26, 2013

Three Wins and A New Rule - In this edition of the Manatt newsletter, we take a look at several new cases that examine an array of important insurance issues. First, though, we report an important victory for...more

Florida High Court Precludes Use of Extrinsic Evidence to Construe Ambiguous Policy Language

In what may be described as a controversial 4-3 decision, the Florida Supreme Court in Washington National Insurance Corp. v. Ruderman, No. SC12-323, 2013 WL 3333059 (Fla. July 3, 2013), held that ambiguous language in an...more

Ambiguity Sends An Overriding Royalty Dispute Back To The Trial Court

It must be maddening to non-lawyers that a large segment of an industry can operate in harmony by agreeing that a contract in widespread use means one thing, only to have party-crashers decide it means another....more

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