When the seas change

There is an interesting sound bite from back in 2007 during the oral argument of Maurice Mitchell Innovations, L.P. v. Intel Corp., 2007-1108 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 24, 2007).   The patent at issue had been filed in 1987 and had been written with extensive “means” language.  Fast forward twenty years to 2007 with the claim language under review by the Federal Circuit, Judge Rader inquired of counsel to what extent the evolution of the law surrounding “means plus function” claims should be taken into account: [Listen].

The Federal Circuit opinion is available here: [Read].

To the extent that the treatment of “means plus function” claims was the sea change of the 90’s, I think one could argue that the treatment of office actions under Dayco and McKesson is the sea change of the twenty-first century.  Hopefully, only a temporary rogue wave.

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