Phillips v. AWH Corporation
415 F.3d 1303 (2005)
Phillips (plaintiff) invented and obtained the ‘798 patent for modular, steel-shell panels that could be welded together to form vandalism-resistant, load-bearing, and impact-resistant walls. Phillips sued AWH Corporation (“AWH”) (defendant) for infringement in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Claim 1 of the ‘798 patent stated: “further means disposed inside the shell for increasing its load bearing capacity comprising of internal steel baffles extending inwardly from the steel shell walls.” The district court construed the claim language as a means for performing a function of the invention, which invoked 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6. Section 112 provides that a claim “shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof.” After reviewing the ‘798 patent specification, the court concluded that a “baffle” was required to “extend inward from the steel shell walls at an oblique or acute angle to the wall face,” and that the allegedly infringing product did not have “baffles.” The district court granted AWH’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement and Phillips appealed. A split panel of the appellate court affirmed. The case was then reheard en banc.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bryson, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.