Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


The question of whether claims construction in patent infringement cases should be decided by the judge or jury has been a matter of contention. This note examines the backdrop against which the United States Supreme Court deemed claim construction to be a matter of law solely for district court judges in Herbert Markman and Positek, Inc. v. Westview Instruments, Inc. and Altheon Enterprises, Inc. The author asserts that Pitney Bowes, Inc. v. Hewlett-Packard Co., a recent Federal Circuit case, undermines the holding in Markman. The author argues that in light of the recent Pitney case, the United States Supreme Court should reexamine whether claim construction should remain a matter of law for the district court judge to decide.