Thesaurus of Claim Construction

Guest Blogger: David Stephenson, Rochester, NY patent attorney

The Thesaurus of Claim Construction is an essential tool for patent litigators, prosecutors and general counsel.

The authors Stuart B. Soffer and Robert C. Kahrl have taken advantage of the wealth of claim construction information available in the record since the Markman decision led courts to begin defining patent terms as a matter of law in 1995.

In a monumental effort, the authors succeed in thoroughly cataloguing and organizing claim constructions from a wide variety of sources.

The authors also help to make sense of the claim construction process, which can sometimes appear arbitrary and confusing. The attention to detail is evident in this volume, and makes valuable information that would otherwise be difficult to obtain easily accessible.

This volume is more than a valuable thesaurus. In Chapter 2, the authors provide an outline for the law of claim construction.

For the seasoned patent practitioner, this chapter is a useful refresher on the role of, and rules for, claim construction in U.S. patent law. For the less experienced, this chapter serves as a plain-language primer for patent law and procedure, and provides context for understanding claim construction.

The thesaurus format includes a definition of a claim, patent information and docket information. This allows for quick access to a definition, and additional information if more detail and further research is required. Electronic and software-related claim constructions are most prevalent; however, all technical fields are well-represented.

The Thesaurus of Claim Construction will be of great service for both the courts and patent practitioners in determining how courts have defined specific terms, predicting how they may define new terms, as well as to simplify the complex and evolving claim construction process.

David Stephenson is a patent attorney in Rochester, New York.
He received a J.D. from Emory University School of Law and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

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