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TF3 Ltd. v. Tre Milano, LLC

IPR Claim Interpretation Exceeding Patent Description Reversed

TF3 Ltd. v. Tre Milano, LLC, __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 3400644 (Fed. Cir. July 13, 2018) (NEWMAN, Lourie, Hughes) (PTAB) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir reverses IPR determination of obviousness. TF3’s patent is for a hair-curling device. The Board applied too broad a claim interpretation, and the opinion describes how the result was a claim extending beyond the scope of the specification, particularly as the written description used the term “i.e.” to introduce an illustration of a key term. “The usage ‘i.e.’ (‘id est’ or ‘that is’) signals an intent to define the word to which it refers.” Op. at 10. Applying this narrowed construction, the cited prior art lacked the limitation in question. The Board also erred in its interpretation of a separate term, as it again went beyond the teachings of the specification.

KEYWORDS: INTER PARTES REVIEW; CLAIM CONSTRUCTION; OBVIOUSNESS (NO)