Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, and welcome to the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily inspiration to make the world a better place.
Happy Monday! You’ve made it, and we’re in the middle of a 10-part series on patent litigation. Last week, you learned about some of the initial steps leading up to what would eventually be a trial. This week, we’re finishing up with some of the exciting aspects.
Today, we’re talking about the very beginnings of a case—what it means to be in trial and what you have to demonstrate to the judge and jury to secure a win. As the plaintiff, the patent holder, one of the first things you must do is examine your claims. Claims define the patent, and in court, there’s a proceeding to construe them. Construing the claims involves defining them, identifying them, and establishing their meaning so that there’s no ambiguity in the interpretation of each element.
This process occurs during the Markman hearing, named after the case that governed this law. The Markman hearing determined that the definitions of words within patent claims are a matter of law, not fact, and it’s the judge’s responsibility to decide what these definitions mean. The Markman hearing is the first event in a patent trial, where attorneys from both sides present arguments on the definitions of elements or words within patent claims.
It’s a comprehensive process covering various claims, but it sets the case up perfectly. When the jury eventually hears the case, they have a clear understanding of the terms and definitions right in front of them. Patents are written by technologists and scientists, and the language used may not be commonplace, making this part crucial in patent litigation.
Tomorrow, we’ll delve into bringing in experts and witnesses and how the jury ultimately makes their decision. If you have any questions about patent litigation or wonder how to get your invention patented and enforced, give us a call.