On February 10, 2016, ALJ Thomas B. Pender issued Order No. 7 in Certain Table Saws Incorporating Active Injury Mitigation Technology and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-965).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a July 16, 2015 complaint filed by SawStop, LLC and SD3, LLC alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain certain table saws incorporating active injury mitigation technology and components thereof that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,225,712; 7,600,455; 7,610,836; 7,895,927; 8,011,279; and 8,191,450.  See our July 16, 2015 and August 28, 2015 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively. 

In Order 7, ALJ Pender construed five disputed claim terms and/or groups of claim terms. Specifically, ALJ Pender construed: (1) “detection system,” “reaction system ... ,” “control system ... ,” “self-test system ... ,” and “safety system ... “; (2) “motion detection system”; (3) “predetermined action” and “specified action;” (4) “cartridge”; and (5) “moveable component.”

With respect to the first set of claim terms, Respondents Robert Bosch Tool Corporation and Robert Bosch GmbH (“Bosch”) argued that Complainants SawStop, LLC and SD3, LLC (“SawStop”) “do[] not explain what the plain and ordinary meaning is...”  ALJ Pender noted that “claim terms are construed from the perspective of a person of ordinary skill in the art in view of the specification and prosecution history” and held that “[n]either party’s construction makes any meaningful difference with respect to claim scope.”  Accordingly, ALJ Pender held that the terms should be given their plain and ordinary meaning.

Regarding the second claim term, Bosch argued that term is limited to the embodiment of Fig. 5, which was selected for prosecution by the patentee in response to an election requirement.  ALJ Pender noted that “Bosch admit[ed] that the patent examiner allowed the patentee to rejoin the non-elected species in the dependent claims.”  Accordingly, ALJ Pender held that “there is no clear and unmistakable disclaimer to justify narrowing the claim term” and that the term should be given its plain and ordinary meaning.

As to the third set of claim terms, Bosch argued that the terms are indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2 or, if not indefinite, should be given their “plain English meaning.”  ALJ Pender held that “the claim language and the patent specification provide examples of predetermined actions and specified actions such that a person of ordinary skill in the art may ascertain the scope of the claims with reasonable certainty.”  ALJ Pender rejected Bosch’s “plain English meaning” and further noted that “[i]t is black letter law that claim terms are to be construed from the perspective of a person of ordinary skill in the art in view of the specification and prosecution history.”  Accordingly, ALJ Pender held that the terms should be given their plain and ordinary meaning.

With respect to the fourth and fifth claim terms, ALJ Pender held that Bosch’s “proposed construction improperly narrows the scope of the claims by importing limitations from the embodiments disclosed in the specification into the claims.”  Accordingly, ALJ Pender determined that both terms should be given their plain and ordinary meanings.