On December 28, 2016, in a crucial hearing that is unique to patent cases, District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, from the U.S. Northern District of Illinois issued a favorable claim construction ruling for the plaintiff, a Gordon Rees's client and pet product company, in its case for patent infringement against the defendant.
The claim construction hearing or Markman Hearing is perhaps the most important hearing in patent litigation. It is at this hearing that the parties can decisively impact their case on infringement and/or invalidity of the asserted patent(s), and potentially avoid trial.
The Court sided with the firm’s client on whether specific terms, or as defendant proposed, entire phrases be construed during the Markman Hearing. The Court agreed with the position presented by the Gordon & Rees attorneys that certain claim terms presented for construction by the defendant have plain meaning and are otherwise clear in the record such that no construction of these certain terms by the Court was necessary. Ultimately, the Court adopted all constructions proposed by Gordon & Rees on behalf of the firm's client. Arguments were handled by Reid Dammann in the Los Angeles office with assistance from Howard Shipley in the Washington, D.C. office.
Now that the claims have been construed by the Court, the case will proceed toward trial on the issues of patent infringement and invalidity.
To read the Court's opinion, please click here.