CMS are proud to be silver sponsors of the American Intellectual Property Law annual event in Washington DC today!  

The Honorable Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary for Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA spoke about imminent changes in how patent claims will be interpreted at the US patent trial and appeal board (PTAB).  Previously patent claims have been interpreted using the broadest reasonable interpretation.  Going forward the interpretation will be according to the Phillips rule.

The Phillips rule is set out in Phillips v. AWH Corp., 415 F.3d 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) which is a case decided by the Federal Circuit about the order of priority of evidentiary sources to be used in patent claim interpretation.  The decision indicates that a term in a patent claim should not be restricted to corresponding structures disclosed in the specification, or their equivalents, when the plain meaning of the term can be used without causing the limitation. 

Andrei Iancu explained that the change is being made in order that the district courts in the US and the US International Trade Commission  (ITC) will use the same method for patent claim interpretation.