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Fed. Cir. Endorses IPR Claim Construction Standard


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In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC (decided Feb. 4, 2015) held that because inter parte review (IPR) proceedings are the analog of patent examination they are subject to the broadest reasonable interpretation standard of claim construction.   The court further indicated that even if the IPR trial was wrongly instituted, such an error would be “washed clean” by the final decision of the PTAB. 

Judge Newman’s lengthy dissent noted “validity” is the province of adjudication (e.g., a trial before the PTAB), while “patentability” applies to examination (e.g., examination before a patent examiner).  Newman points out that district courts use the claim construction outlined in Phillips and not the manufactured, expedient standard of “broadest reasonable interpretation” employed by patent examiners.   Therefore, Newman argues that the PTAB cannot act as a cost-savings “surrogate” for district court on validity if differing standards are used.

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