Digest of BELDEN INC. v. BERK-TEK LLC, No. 2014-1676 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 17, 2015) (non-precedential). On appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Before Lourie, Reyna, and Chen.

Procedural Posture: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated two data cable patents as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. § 102 and/or obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. The Patent Owner appealed, arguing that the Board had improperly construed a number of claim limitations. The CAFC affirmed.

  • Claim Construction: The claims at issue required a data cable with an “interior support” with a plurality of “channels” to hold a twisted pair. The Board did not err in construing the term “channel” to broadly extend to a “long gutter, groove, or furrow” or “open space” in which a twisted pair is located. This construction was consistent with the term’s ordinary meaning, as evinced by a dictionary, and intrinsic evidence, including the claims, specification, prosecution history, and a parent patent that was incorporated by reference. Further, the Board properly rejected conclusory expert testimony presented by the Patent Owner regarding the scope of this claim term.
  • Claim Construction: The Board also properly construed the term “twisted together.” While the Patent Owner argued that the patents-in-suit required a structure produced using a specific method, there was nothing in the claims that required this.
  • Obviousness: Substantial evidence also supported the Board’s finding that it would have been obvious to combine two prior art references to arrive at the subject matter of two dependent claims.