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Federal Circuit Panel Once Again Splits on Claim Construction


In Acumed LLC v. Stryker Corp. (No. 2006-1260, April 12, 2007), a Federal Circuit panel offers a split decision regarding the proper construction of a single term in the claims. According to the dissent, the district court used a dictionary as the starting point when defining each disputed term. Therefore, the dissent argues that the district court’s method actually led them astray from a proper claim construction. The majority counters by simply noting that a proper de novo review prohibits the court from considering the logic or definitions used by the lower court to reach the correct construction. Rather, the majority explains, “[w]e review only the district court’s finished product, not its process” and the unorthodox methods used by the district court during the Markman hearing are legally irrelevant.

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