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IGT v. Bally Gaming International, Inc., Bally Technologies, inc., and Bally Gaming, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-06-2011
Case #: 2010-1364, 2010-1365
Newman, Lourie, and Moore
Full Text Opinion: http://www.finnegan.com/files/Publication/617f5d7e-fc8b-4b53-a9f8-c4b0bbcd6a84/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/ae3ad603-6185-4e42-b8f1-c650e1053cfc/10-1364%2010-6-11.pdf

Patents: The rules of claim construction include: 1. “The words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning as understood by a person of ordinary skill in the art when read in the context of the specification and prosecution history,” unless the patentee “clearly set[s] forth a definition of the disputed claim term other than its plain and ordinary meaning;” 2. The “claim language must be construed in the context of the claim in which it appears;” and 3. “A claim is only indefinite if it is not amenable to construction or is insolubly ambiguous.”

Bally Gaming International, Inc., Bally Technologies, Inc., and Bally Gaming, Inc. (collectively “Bally”) appealed the district court’s grant of summary judgment of infringement of certain claims of U.S. reissue patent nos. RE37,885 and RE38,812. IGT cross appealed summary judgment of noninfringement of other claims of the two patents. The summary judgment rulings for both parties turned on the construction of multiple sets of words within the two patents. The Court of Appeals affirmed the construction of the district court on all the sets of words stating three of the rules of claim construction for affirming the holdings in the sets of words: 1. “The words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning as understood by a person of ordinary skill in the art when read in the context of the specification and prosecution history,” unless the patentee “clearly set[s] forth a definition of the disputed claim term other than its plain and ordinary meaning;” 2. The “claim language must be construed in the context of the claim in which it appears;” and 3. “A claim is only indefinite if it is not amenable to construction or is insolubly ambiguous.” By agreeing with the district court’s construction, the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED both summary judgments of the district court.