Invalid Due To Lack Of Antecedent Basis

Judge Payne found a claim term indefinite because it lacks antecedent basis in the claim.  “While definiteness does not require absolute certainty, it does require reasonable certainty around the boundaries of the term. The Court finds that one of skill in the art would not be able to reasonably determine what is meant by the phrase “the definition of the plan.””

Claim Term Indefinite

What does “the additional information” mean?  The court agreed with the parties that the term lacked antecedent basis, but didn’t find that dispositive.  The term was used elsewhere in the patents, but was paired with examples in those locations.  It appeared that its inclusion in this claim was simply an improper insertion – but noting that it is not the court’s job to rewrite or proofread claim language, the court concluded that the term was indefinite.

Claim Term Held Indefinite

There is a lot going on in this 51 page claim construction order resolving disputes across the 14 asserted patents.  Some practitioners might find instructive the court’s conclusion that the preamble is limiting, but others might find more interesting the court’s conclusion that a term was indefinite because it was subjective, and the intrinsic record provided no objective standard by which a skilled artisan determine what is and is not a “natural sounding voice”.