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2000

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Intellectual Property Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Theory Of Claim Interpretation, Craig Allen Nard Jan 2000

A Theory Of Claim Interpretation, Craig Allen Nard

Faculty Publications

This article explores the proper scope of judicial power in patent law by focusing on the Federal Circuit's theories of claim interpretation. A study of the court's claim interpretation jurisprudence reveals two schools of interpretation. I characterize these approaches as (1) hypertextualism, which is the predominant interpretative theory; and (2) pragmatic textualism, which is gradually asserting itself. The hypertextualist judge has an expansive view of judicial power, characterizing claim interpretation as a question of law subject to de novo review. This highly formalistic approach stresses textual fidelity and internal textual coherence, but eschews extrinsic evidence as an interpretive ...