CAFC Reverses After Lower Court Denies Patentee the Opportunity to Present a New Infringement Argument on Remand

CertificateofcorrectionCentral Admixture Pharmacy Services v. Advanced Cardiac Solutions (Fed. Cir. 2008) (Non-precedential)

Most non-precedential opinions affirm the lower court. In fact, this decision is the first non-precedential reversal of 2008 (according to a Lexis search). In the prior decision, the CAFC voided a certificate of correction that had attempted to change a claim limitation from osmolarity to osmolality.

The final line of the original opinion reads as follows: “On remand, CAPS [the patentee] may pursue its allegations of infringement of the uncorrected ‘osmolarity’ version of the ’515 patent claims.” However, after the remand the district court refused to allow CAPS to prove infringement based on the uncorrected version of the patent.  Its reasoning was that CAPS had previously stated that it would not pursue that theory of infringement.

On appeal the second time, the CAFC reversed and remanded — holding that its prior order was “clear: on remand, the district court was to decide the merits of CAPS’s infringement claim under the pre-[Certificate of Correction] claims.  The district court was not at liberty to ‘determine’ the issue on procedural grounds, as it did.”

Reversed and remanded for consideration of the patentee’s infringement arguments.


  • This panel included Judges Schall, Clevenger, and Gajarsa. 
  • The original panel included Judges Schall, Gajarsa, and Prost. Opinion by Gajarsa [LINK]
  • The patent at issue (No. 4,988,515) covers a solution of glucose and amino acids used to nourish heart tissue during open heart surgery when blood flow is stopped.
  • This decision appears quite limited. The patentee is able to present its new infringement argument because the original CAFC opinion specifically ordered the court to allow the new argument. This decision does not require a reversed lower court to allow a party to present arguments that had previously been dropped.

Certificate of Correction

According to PTO figures, the Office has issued around 25,000 certificates of correction on issued patents each year since 2001. On a per patent basis, about 15% of issued patents are associated with a certificate of correction.*

Generally, a certificate of correction can be used to correct a minor mistake such as a “clerical or typographical” error or other minor error. In Superior Fireplace, the court held that a certificate of correction that broadens the claim is only permissible when it is clear from the specification and prosecution history how to correct the error. Similarly, in Central Admixture Pharmacy the CAFC found that the correction from osmolarity to osmolality was void because the error “was not clearly evident to one of skill in the art and the result was to broaden the claims.” The relief for an improper certificate of correction is simply to cancel the certificate. 

Over the past several years, a number of automated and out-sourcing services have emerged to check against PTO printing errors and other typographical errors. What are the best services and best practices regarding corrections?


  • * To account for the time delay in obtaining corrections, I looked at only patents numbered 6,000,000 – 7,000,000 for the per patent estimate.