The Federal Circuit yesterday voided a certificate of correction which had been issued changing the scope of a patent's claims. Because the error corrected broadened the claims and was not the type of error that was "immediately apparent and leave no doubt as to what the mistake is," the certificate of correction was inappropriate. As a result, the finding of infringement under the "corrected" claims was vacated, and the case remanded for a determination of infringement of the original, uncorrected claims.
The court also addressed some procedural issues. The court found the alleged infringer had waived its right to argue an additional claim term should have been construed by failing to raise it at the lower court during the claim construction phase of the case. The infringer also alleged inequitable conduct in its answer based in part on a failure to disclose material prior art references to the USPTO, but did not allege what relevant prior art was known and not disclosed. As a result, the inequitable conduct pleading did not meet the requirements of Rule 9, and was dismissed. Three years later, the infringer asked for leave to amend its allegation to provide the necessary details, but this request was denied as untimely. The Federal Circuit found no abuse of discretion in this decision.
More details of the case after the jump.