disclaimer : CAFC Alert

Limitations describing how an apparatus is made can structurally limit the apparatus

Andrew Melick | June 12, 2013

Regents of University of Minnesota v. AGA Medical Corp.

June 3, 2013

Panel:  Rader, Wallach, Dyk.  Opinion by Dyk.

Summary

Regents of University of Minnesota (“University”) sued AGA Medical for infringement of U.S. Patents 6,077,281 and 6,077,291 directed to medical devices called septal occluders.  A claim at issue recites two disks having central membranes, the two disks being “affixed” to each other at the central membranes “to define a conjoint disk.”  The accused product was a molded one-piece device.  In the district court, the claim was construed as to require that the disks, before being affixed, exist separately as individual disks that are then attached to each other.  Since the accused device was a single molded device and was not constructed from two separate disks, the district court entered summary judgment of non-infringement.  The CAFC affirmed this construction and the summary judgment of non-infringement.

Another claim at issue was found to be anticipated.  The University attempted to use prosecution disclaimer to narrow the claim and avoid anticipation.  However, the court rejected the prosecution disclaimer because the prosecution disclaimer was from a parent application and applied to “materially” different claim language.


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Clear and Unmistakeable Evidence of a Disclaimer Found in Response to Enablement Rejection

Kumiko Ide | April 24, 2013

Biogen Idec, Inc., et al. v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, et al.

April 16, 2013

Panel: Dyk, Plager, Reyna.  Opinion by Reyna.  Dissent by Plager.

Summary

During prosecution of the patent, applicants responded to the examiner’s enablement rejection, wherein they failed to challenge the examiner’s understanding of the crucial terms, and limited their invention to what the examiner believed their specification enabled.  The CAFC affirmed the district court’s narrow claim interpretation of the term “anti-CD20 antibody” based on prosecution history disclaimer.

実施可能要件を満たしていないとして発せられた拒絶通知に対して、出願人は、審査官の理解に対して反論することなく、明細書により実施可能であると審査官が判断したものに発明を限定するような主張を行った。よって、「anti-CD20 antibody」という用語について、狭いクレーム解釈を容認した地裁の判断は誤りでなかったとCAFCは判示した。


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