Interprétation du mot “about” à la Cour du circuit fédéral aux É-U

Voir la décision – Ortho-McNeil Pharm. v. Caraco Pharm.

Aussi: Le résumé de Patently-O.

Voici un extrait:

This court has looked at the meaning of the term “about,” and similar qualifying words or phrases, in other cases and has developed an approach to the interpretation of such terms:

[T]he word “about” does not have a universal meaning in patent claims, . . . the meaning depends upon the technological facts of the particular case.

* * *

The use of the word “about,” avoids a strict numerical boundary to the specified parameter. Its range must be interpreted in its technological and stylistic context. We thus consider how the term . . . was used in the patent specification, the prosecution history, and other claims. It is appropriate to consider the effects of varying that parameter, for the inventor’s intended meaning is relevant. Extrinsic evidence of meaning and usage in the art may be helpful in determining the criticality of the parameter . . . .

Pall Corp. v. Micron Separations, Inc., 66 F.3d 1211, 1217 (Fed. Cir. 1995)

[…]

Considering the intrinsic and extrinsic evidence in this case, we see no error in the district court’s construction of the term “about 1:5” to mean approximately 1:5, encompassing a range of ratios no greater than 1:3.6 to 1:7.1.

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