Karen C. Mitch


Through an iterative use of the ordinary dictionary, claim construction would be more simple, cost effective and efficient in serving the public notice function of the claim. Since the decision in Markman, two divergent methods of claim construction have emerged; one referring to dictionary definitions first, the other referring to parts of the patent such as the specification first. Due to the confusion and differing outcomes the two methods bring about, there came a call by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for clarification. The recent en banc decision in Phillips reverted claim interpretation back to the method as set forth in Markman. However, a more efficient outcome of combining the two methods would have been desirable. This comment proposes an iterative process using a combination of both methods previously used in claim interpretation.