Search the Archives           Subscribe           About this News Service           Reader Comments

Archived updates for Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Cost of Simplicity at the Federal Circuit

In Simplicity at the Cost of Clarity, William H. Burgess revisits the Federal Circuit's decision in Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc., 138 F.3d 1448 (Fed. Cir. 1998) holding that claim construction is a matter of law with no underlying factual inquiries, and therefore subject to de novo review on appeal. He concludes that "Cybor has been a failure in practice because it is so inconsistent with the settled law on so many issues relating to claim construction that it is impossible to apply the holding in practice without sending contradictory messages. By labelling claim construction as a pure issue of law and then trying to force the underlying issues to behave as purely legal issues, the Federal Circuit drew an ill-advised bright line that threatens to undermine the progress that it has made toward increasing uniformity and clarity in patent law."

    (0)comment(s)     translate     More Updates     Send