Let’s Talk About Text: Contracts, Claims, and Judicial Philosophy at the Federal Circuit

by Andrew T. Langford, Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington)

from Volume 3, Issue 1 (Fall 2012)

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Abstract: This Article began as a research project with the goal of examining the congruence of Federal Circuit claim construction doctrine and American contract interpretation doctrine. But during a review of the Federal Circuit’s own contract law cases, a broader picture emerged—one of a court struggling to interpret legal documents, particularly contracts and patents. This Article describes how the Federal Circuit’s contract interpretation doctrine parallels claim construction doctrine and ends by discussing implications for scholars and attorneys in the field of patent law.