In a Federal Register notice (75 FR 19558) dated April 15, 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cancelled its Rule § 41.200(b)—the rule that, in the context of interference proceedings, required the USPTO to give claims their “broadest reasonable construction in light of the specification of the patent or application in which it appears.”

The cancelled USPTO rule was inconsistent with the holding of Agilent Technologies, v. Affymetrix, (see IP Update, Vol. 12, No. 6), a 2009 case where the Federal Circuit held that contrary to Rule 41.200(b), “when a party challenges written description support for an interference count or the copied claim in an interference, the originating disclosure provides the meaning of the pertinent claim language. When a party challenges a claims validity under § 102 or § 103, however, this court and the Board must interpret the claim in light of the specification in which it appears.