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Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
517 U.S. 370 (1996)


Facts

Markman (plaintiff) sued Westview (defendant) for infringing its patent to an inventory control system for use by dry cleaners. A key issue was the construction of the claim term “inventory.” After a jury verdict, Westview moved for judgment as a matter of law. The district court held that claim construction is a matter of law for the court and found non-infringement. Markman appealed to the court of appeals for the federal circuit, which upheld the district court decision en banc. Markman petitioned for a writ of certiorari, which was granted.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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