• The Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Of Claims In Reexamination: A Standard Making It Easier to Invalidate Patent Claims
  • December 1, 2010 | Authors: Donald H. Heckenberg; Lawrence A. Stahl
  • Law Firm: Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto - Washington Office
  • Patent reexamination by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) is increasingly being turned to by those wishing to challenge the validity of a patent. In particular, defendants in patent litigations are filing requests for reexamination in the USPTO as a supplemental or alternative means to a court challenge to the validity of an asserted patent. There are many factors that parties will consider when comparing a patent challenge in a federal court to a reexamination proceeding in the USPTO, but one of the most important is the different way claim terminology is construed in the two forums. In this regard, the USPTO typically applies a broader interpretation of claim language, which in turn makes invalidating those claims more likely in a reexamination proceeding than in a court challenge.