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Civil Procedure Keyed to Friedenthal
Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
The Petitioner in this infringement suit owned a patent for his inventory control and reporting system for dry cleaning stores. The patent described a system that could monitor and report the status, location and movement of clothing in a dry-cleaning establishment. The system consisted of a keyboard and data processor to generate written records for each transaction and included a bar code readable by optical detectors operated by employees who logged the progress of clothing through the dry-cleaning process. The Respondent’s product, the Exponent, also included a keyboard and processor and it listed charges for the dry-cleaning services on bar-coded tickets that could be read by portable optical detectors. Petitioner brought an infringement suit against Respondent and Althon Enterprises, an operator of dry-cleaning establishments using Respondent’s products. Respondent answered that Petitioner’s patent was not infringed by its system because the Respondent’s system functioned merely to record an inventory of receivables by tracking invoices and transaction totals, rather than recording and tracking an inventory of articles of clothing. Part of the dispute hinged upon the meaning of the word “inventory.” A jury heard the case and heard from one of Petitioner’s witness who testified about the meaning of the claim language. The jury compared the patent to Respondent’s device and found an infringement of Petitioner’s claim. The District Court nevertheless granted Respondent’s deferred motion for judgment as a matter of law, reasoning that the term “inventory” in Petitioner’s patent encompassed both cash inventory and the actual physical inventory of articles of clothing. Since Respondent’s system could not track items it directed a verdict on the ground that Respondent’s device did not have the means to maintain an inventory total and could not detect and localize additions to inventory as well as deletions from it as required by Petitioner’s claim. Petitioner appealed and argued that the District Court erred in substituting its construction of the disputed claim term “inventory” for the construction the jury had given it. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed, holding the interpretation of claim terms to be the exclusive jurisdiction of the court and the Seventh Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution) to be consistent with that conclusion.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.