December 5, 2013
Interdigital v. International Trade Commission
Many patent cases turn on the meaning of terms in the patent claims. Although the standards for interpreting claims are somewhat fluid, there is a need for some degree of rigidity so inventors can protect their inventions. This Recent Development examines how the court in InterDigital Communications, LLC v. International Trade Commission applied various doctrines of patent law to interpret the meaning of “code” in two of InterDigital’s patents. Particularly, this Recent Development focuses on InterDigital’s heavy reliance on the doctrine of claim differentiation in expanding the meaning of “code” beyond its proper scope. A court-sanctioned expansion of a patent term beyond its proper scope could create confusion about what inventions a patent protects. InterDigital also invites the possibility of patent owners or applicants strategically using the doctrine of claim differentiation contrary to the purposes and principles behind the U.S. patent system.