Allvoice Computing v. Nuance Comm. (Fed. Cir. 2007)
Allvoice appealed after the Texas court found its means-plus-function claim elements indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112. The patent relates to voice recognition software.
PHOSITA Creativity: A means plus function element is considered indefinite if a PHOSITA “would be unable to recognize the structure in the specification and associate it with the corresponding function in the claim.”
On appeal, the CAFC took a cue from KSR v. Teleflex — finding that a PHOSITA is creative and “not an automation.” For software cases, this means that the specification “need only disclose adequate defining structure to render the bounds of the claim understandable to one of ordinary skill in the art. Here, the CAFC found that the algorithm flowchart (see figure) was sufficient structure.
Best Mode: The appellate panel also included the reminder that the best mode requirement only extends to the claimed invention.
- Part of an increasing trend, Professor Paul Janicke performed the claim construction.