Claim Construction during IPR : CAFC Alert

Dictionary Definitions and the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard

| March 3, 2016

PPC Broadband, Inc. v. Corning Optical Communications, RF, LLC (Precedential)

February 22, 2016

Before Moore, O’Malley and Wallach.  Opinion by Moore.


Corning Optical Communications requested inter partes review (“IPR) of claims 10-25 of PPC Broadband’s US Patent No. 8,323,060, on the grounds that the claims were invalid as obvious. During the IPR proceedings, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) found claims 10-25 of the ‘060 patent to be obvious, relying on a general dictionary definition of the term “around” to construe the language “reside around” to mean “in the immediate vicinity of; near.” The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) concluded that the Board erred in its construction of “reside around”. While the Board’s construction may have resulted in the broadest definition of “reside around”, the Board’s construction was not reasonable in light of the specification.

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