Senate May Want To Reconsider Section 112(f) Patent Reform

Law360 (June 25, 2019, 12:13 PM EDT) -- Congress is considering broadening the language of Section 112(f) of the Patent Act — a provision that governs the complex and unpredictable mode of claim construction applied to “means-plus-function” claims — so that this provision would apply to a larger number of claim terms. Most notably, the draft language for Section 112(f) would remove the reference to “means or step for,” potentially abrogating the presumption under Williamson v. Citrix Online LLC[1] that a limitation lacking the word “means” shall not be construed under Section 112(f).

Testimony on this proposed reform has focused principally on its substantive effects — that is, advocates...

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