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Tag Archive: John Leighton

‘Means’ Or Not ‘Means’, That Is The Question

■ John D. Leighton The presence or absence of the word “means” in a claim has long been accompanied by one of two comp-lementary presumptions. Using the word “means” in a claim element creates a rebuttable presumption that §112, para. 6 applies and means-plus-function claiming occurs. Conversely, failure to use the word ‘means’ also creates a rebuttable presumption — this time that §112, para. 6 does not apply. Since 2004, however, these presumptions have been asymmetric ones. The Federal Circuit first established this asymmetry with the Lighting World, Inc. v. Birchwood Lighting, Inc., 382 F.3d 1354, 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2004)...