Wednesday, February 09, 2005

PHILLIPS V. AWH TRANSCRIPT: Dennis Crouch, of the "Patently-O" blog, has posted a transcript of the oral arguments. One notable exchange:

Linn: If we use the dictionary, then which one, and what meaning(s) from that

A: The parties should get deference. The patent owner might propose multiple
definitions, and the defendant would propose narrower definitions. Then the court should
narrow it down to two competing definitions. Then we can run those through the
specification. If they are both plausible, then OK.

Lourie: ---

A: Any dictionary for common terms, and a treatise for technical terms.

Newman: What if it s not in lit igat ion? Persons read patents for technical informat ion. We
can t impose an elaborate st ructure on these people? You read the specification as a
whole and figure out what was claimed? Don t you begin with the specificat ion? What
about priority of sources?

A: The invention is defined by the claims. If the claims are broader than the specification,
then it s OK unless there is an explicit narrowing.
Newman: What about enablement?

A: That s not at issue here. The specificat ion doesn t indicate breadth. That s the purpose
of the claims.

Lourie: Mustn't the specificat ion enable the full scope of the claims?

A: Yes.

Michel: If we agree with you about restricting implicit redefinitions, what about our prior
case law such as Bell Atlantic?

A: The reason this court went en banc was to set some guidelines. Maybe it can be
implicit if it is very clear.

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