Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc.: Supreme Court Strikes Down the Insolubly Ambiguous Definiteness Standard in Favor of a Reasonable Certainty Standard

Fitzpatrick Case Update
June 2, 2014

On June 2, 2014, a unanimous United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Circuit’s test for determining whether patent claims meet the definiteness requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2, did not satisfy the statute’s definiteness requirement. Prior to the Court’s ruling, the Federal Circuit held that in order to satisfy the definiteness requirement, a patent owner need only show that a challenged claim is “amenable to construction,” and not “insolubly ambiguous.” The new standard announced by the Court requires that the claims of a patent, when read in light of the patent’s specification and the prosecution history, inform with reasonable certainty those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention. Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 13-369 (June 2, 2014).

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