Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Proposed Construction of “Plain Meaning” Must Indicate Whether Opposing Construction Falls Within Scope of Plain Meaning

The court granted defendants' motion to compel plaintiffs to provide further claim construction briefing in a case involving drug patents. Plaintiffs' proposed construction for each term was "plain meaning" and plaintiffs refused to comment on whether defendants' proposed constructions were within the plain meaning of the terms. "Plaintiffs have countered Defendants’ proposed construction of each of the disputed claim terms with the simple offer, 'plain meaning.' Doing so, without a statement of what Plaintiffs contend the 'plain meaning' to be and without acknowledging whether Defendants’ proposed construction is within the scope of Plaintiffs’ 'plain meaning' is unhelpful to the process and has the potential to unnecessarily burden the Court’s construction efforts. . . . [R]equiring Plaintiffs to either agree that Defendants’ proposed construction is within its so called 'plain meaning' imposes virtually no burden on Plaintiffs. . . . Nothing in this Order is intended to preclude Plaintiffs from advancing the argument in its Markman brief that the 'plain meaning' of any term should control and that, consequently, no construction of that term is necessary. However, to assist the District Judge in resolving claim construction issues, Plaintiff shall be required to specify what it contends the plain meaning to be."

Sucampo AG et al v. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc. et al, 3-14-cv-07114 (NJD March 4, 2016, Order) (Arpert, M.J.)

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