David Potashnik


The Federal Circuit granted an en banc hearing of Phillips v. AWH Corp. to address the dichotomy existing in the Circuit’s jurisprudence. Because of the impact of claim construction on every litigated patent, Phillips has been deemed one of the most important cases in patent law since the landmark case of Markman v. Westview Instruments Inc. in the mid-1990s. In order to help the reader understand the implications of the case, the remainder of this Note is divided into four sections. Section II details the history and development of claim construction. Section I II discusses the Phillips case, including the relevant facts and procedural history. Section IV analyzes the positions of the amicus briefs and urges the Federal Circuit to adopt a balanced approach that looks to both dictionaries as well as to the specification. Lastly, Section V provides a conclusion.