On April 5, 1995, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., a decision that impacted patent litigation in the United States probably more than any other since the inception of the court. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 52 F.3d 967 (Fed. Cir. 1995), aff’d, 517 U.S. 370 (1996). The court held, in an opinion written by Judge Archer, that construction of patent claims, which define the scope of the patentee’s rights under the patent, is a matter of law exclusively for the court, rather than a matter of fact. The court settled the inconsistencies in its precedent and found that “in a case tried to a jury, the court has the power and obligation to construe as a matter of law the meaning of the language used in the patent claim.” Id. at 979. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and unanimously affirmed the Federal Circuit decision on April 23, 1996. Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., 517 U.S. 370 (1996). In an opinion written by Justice Souter, the Supreme Court held that the construction of patent claims, including terms of art within the claims, was within the province of the court, in light of the existing precedent, the suitability of interpretations issues for determination by judges, and the importance of uniformity in treatment of a given patent.