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Fed. Cir. Grants En Banc Rehearing in Lighting Ballast Case

March 15, 2013 by in General

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has granted a rehearing en banc in LIGHTING BALLAST CONTROL v. PHILIPS ELECTRONICS. The Federal Circuit is considering the continued viability of de novo appellate claim construction under Cybor Corp. v. FAS Techs., Inc., 138 F.3d 1448, 1454–55 (Fed.Cir.1998) and posed the following question for briefing and argument: (1) Should the Court overrule Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc., 138 F.3d 1448 (Fed. Cir. 1998)? (2) Should the Court afford deference to any aspect of a district court’s claim construction? (3) If so, which aspects should be afforded deference?

SSJR filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Connecticut Intellectual Property Law Association (“CIPLA”) supporting an en banc hearing and arguing that deference to the trial court’s findings in claim construction is appropriate where the court makes a threshold finding of fact relying on extrinsic evidence when construing the asserted patent claims.