United States District Court, D. Delaware
E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS AND COMPANY, Plaintiff,
UNIFRAX I LLC, Defendant.
before me is the issue of claim construction of the term
"adhesive layer capable of activation" in U.S.
Patent No. 8, 607, 926 (the '"926 patent"). I
have considered the parties' letters. (D.I. 288; D.I.
289; D.I. 291; D.I. 292).
is a bedrock principle of patent law that the claims of a
patent define the invention to which the patentee is entitled
the right to exclude." Phillips v. AWH Corp.,
415 F.3d 1303, 1312 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (en banc) (internal
quotation marks omitted). "'[T]here is no magic
formula or catechism for conducting claim construction.'
Instead, the court is free to attach the appropriate weight
to appropriate sources 'in light of the statutes and
policies that inform patent law.'" Soft View LLC
v. Apple Inc., 2013 WL 4758195, at *1 (D. Del. Sept. 4,
2013) (quoting Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1324)
(alteration in original). When construing patent claims, a
court considers the literal language of the claim, the patent
specification, and the prosecution history. Markman v.
Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967, 977-80 (Fed.
Cir. 1995) (en banc), aff'd, 517 U.S. 370
(1996). Of these sources, "the specification is always
highly relevant to the claim construction analysis. Usually,
it is dispositive; it is the single best guide to the meaning
of a disputed term." Phillips, 415 F.3d at 1315
(internal quotation marks omitted).
words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and
customary meaning.... [Which is] the meaning that the term
would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art in
question at the time of the invention, i.e., as of the
effective filing date of the patent application."
Id. at 1312-13 (citations and internal quotation
marks omitted). "[T]he ordinary meaning of a claim term
is its meaning to [an] ordinary artisan after reading the
entire patent." Id. at 1321 (internal quotation
marks omitted). "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." Id. at 1314.
court relies solely upon the intrinsic evidence-the patent
claims, the specification, and the prosecution history-the
court's construction is a determination of law. See
TevaPharm. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., 135 S.Ct. 831, 841
(2015). The court may also make factual findings based upon
consideration of extrinsic evidence, which "consists of
all evidence external to the patent and prosecution history,
including expert and inventor testimony, dictionaries, and
learned treatises." Phillips, 415 F.3d at
1317-19. Extrinsic evidence may assist the court in
understanding the underlying technology, the meaning of terms
to one skilled in the art, and how the invention works.
Id. Extrinsic evidence, however, is less reliable
and less useful in claim construction than the patent and its
prosecution history. Id.
claim construction is persuasive, not because it follows a
certain rule, but because it defines terms in the context of
the whole patent." Renishaw PLC v. Marposs Societa
'per Azioni, 158 F.3d 1243, 1250 (Fed. Cir. 1998).
It follows that "a claim interpretation that would
exclude the inventor's device is rarely the correct
interpretation." Osram GMBH v. Int'l Trade
Comm'n, 505 F.3d 1351, 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2007)
"capable of activation at a temperature of from 75 to
200 degrees C." (Claim 1 of the '976
Plaintiff sproposed construction: "Capable of
means "the ability to so perform."
"Activation" means "bonding." In the
alternative, "capable of activation" means
"the ability to bond." Furthermore, the term
"at a temperature of from 75 to 200 degrees C"
needs no construction because it has its plain and ordinary
Defendant's proposed construction: An adhesive
layer . .. where the adhesive becomes able to bond only after
it is heated to a temperature in the range of 75 to 200
Celsius (167 to 392 degrees Fahrenheit).
Court's construction: The ability to bond at a
temperature of from 75 to 200 degrees C.
of the'926 patent provides:
1. A multilayer laminate for use as a flame barrier layer for
an aircraft comprising in order (i) a polymeric film layer
capable of withstanding a temperature of at least 200 C for
at least 10 min,
(ii) an adhesive layer having an areal weight of from 2 to 40
gsm capable of activation at a temperature of from 75 to 200
degrees C, and
(iii) an inorganic refractory layer; wherein the inorganic
refractory layer of (iii) comprises platelets in an amount of
100% by weight with a dry areal weight of 15 to 50 gsm and a
residual moisture ...