Nautilus Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Patents
  • Date Filed: January 10, 2014
  • Case #: 13-369
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 715 F.3d 891 (Fed. Cir. 2013)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether a claim violates the statutory requirements for "particular and distinct patent claiming" when the Federal Circuit accepts ambiguous patent claims that have multiple reasonable interpretations, provided that the ambiguity is not “insoluble.”

Respondent sued Petitioner for patent infringement. The District Court granted partial summary judgment in favor of Petitioner on the issue that the patent was invalid for indefiniteness reasons. Petitioner claimed, and the District Court held, that the term “spaced relationship,” in reference to the placement of electrodes in the monitor was indefinite which makes the patent invalid. Respondent appealed the grant of summary judgment to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The Federal Circuit of appeals held that the term “spaced relationship” was not indefinite and reversed and remanded the District Court’s decision.

Petitioner contends that the Federal Circuit Court has misinterpreted 35 U.S.C. § 112, which defines what the specification of patent should contain. Petitioner also argues that this misinterpretation will allow for ambiguous patent claims to be heard. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether a claim violates the statutory requirements for "particular and distinct patent claiming" when the Federal Circuit accepts ambiguous patent claims that have multiple reasonable interpretations, provided that the ambiguity is not “insoluble.”

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