Gregory M. Sleet: Markman and the Plain Meaning Doctrine

Claim construction often can be a complex affair – or not. In a recent decision, Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet construed several terms according to their plain meaning. By doing so, the Court reminded practitioners of the Federal Circuit’s admonition that not all claims must be rephrased:

“In some cases, the ordinary meaning of claim language as understood by a person of skill in the art may be readily apparent even to lay judges, and claim construction in such cases involves little more than the application of the widely accepted meaning of commonly understood words.”

Hesco Bastion Limited v. ACS Holdings USA, LLC, C.A. No. 08-266-GMS (D. Del. Oct. 20, 2009) (Sleet, C.J.).

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