Chief Judge Stark Requires More than “Plain and Ordinary” Claim Constructions

January 5, 2016

Publication| Intellectual Property

On December 10, 2015, in Data Engine Techs. LLC v. Google Inc., C.A. No. 14-1115-LPS (D. Del. Dec. 10, 2015), Chief Judge Stark issued an oral order requiring that plaintiff supplement its claim construction briefing by submitting “proposed constructions (i.e., not merely an unspecified ‘plain and ordinary meaning’) for each of the disputed claim terms for which it has not already provided a construction.” Plaintiff was given four days to provide its constructions, and defendant was permitted to respond to those constructions within three days in a letter brief not to exceed five pages. The Court’s order required that the briefing be completed just two business days before the Markman hearing scheduled for December 21, 2015.

Analysis: This oral order is consistent with Chief Judge Stark’s Revised Procedures for Managing Patent Cases, which state that the Court is not usually “persuaded that ‘plain and ordinary meaning’ is an appropriate resolution of a material dispute over the scope of a claim term.” This oral order is also consistent with Judge Robinson’s requirement of a proposed construction other than “plain and ordinary.”

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