The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued its final rule that revises the claim construction standard applied in AIA trial proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The final rule replaces the "broadest reasonable interpretation" standard, where claims will now be interpreted using the same claim construction standard that is used to construe the claim in a civil action in a federal district court. Additionally, under the final rule, the PTAB will take into consideration any prior claim construction determination by a district court or the International Trade Commission (ITC) that is timely made of record in an inter partes review (IPR), a post-grant review (PGR), and a transitional program for covered business method patents (CBM) proceedings.
The final rule aims to ensure greater consistency and harmonization between the federal courts and the ITC, and to increase the efficiency and reliability in the patent system. The final rule will take effect on November 13, 2018, and will apply only to IPR, PGR, and CBM petitions filed on or after the effective date.