District Court's Markman Ruling Has No Preclusive Effect On PTO Reexam
The Federal Circuit, in In Re Trans Texas Holdings Corp., (No. 2006-1559, -1600, Aug. 22, 2007), affirms a Board's Reexamination decision that found that each of the claims of two related patents were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) as obvious over the prior art. The Court rejects the appellant's argument that the Board should have given preclusive effect to a district court's Markman order, which had construed the claims in their favor in a prior litigation. The Court holds that issue preclusion is not warranted because the PTO was not a party to the earlier litigation, and as a result, did not have a "full and fair opportunity" to litigate the claim construction issues.
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