In Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, Appeal No. 15-446, the Supreme Court upheld the Patent Office’s use of the broadest reasonable interpretation standard for claim construction in inter partes review proceedings as a reasonable exercise of its rulemaking authority.
Cuozzo challenged a Patent Office regulation requiring the PTAB to apply the broadest reasonable construction standard to interpret patent claims. The Supreme Court reviewed this regulation for reasonableness in light of its text, nature, and the purpose of the statute. The Court found that nothing in the statute’s language, purpose, or legislative history mandated the use of a particular claim construction standard. The Court stated that Congress intended for inter partes review to be a hybrid proceeding in which the PTAB can revisit issued patents and consider amendments for possible reissue. The Court also stated that the broadest reasonable construction helps to protect the public by encouraging the applicant to draft narrowly.