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Ambiguity in specific definition of claim terms

Tsuyoshi Nakamura | October 25, 2017

ORGANIK KIMYA AS, v. ROHM AND HAAS COMPANY

October 11, 2017

Before Prost, Newman, and Taranto. Opinion by Newman.

Summary:

In the inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) made claim interpretation about claimed “swelling agent” by relying on patentee’s specific definition provided in the specification and decided that the alleged prior arts fail to disclose such “swelling agent.”  Appellant, Organik Kimya AS argues that the specific definition includes ambiguity due to open-ended definition and the claims cannot be reasonably interpreted to exclude those prior arts.  The court affirmed the decision of PTAB.  The specification contained many definitions of technical terms.  Careful wording would be more desired in drafting functional definition for claim terms, which provides specific meaning different from ordinary and customary one.


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