Cummins-Allison Corp. v. Glory Ltd., __ F.Supp.2d __, 2006 WL 2931999 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 13, 2006) (Kendall, J.).
Judge Kendall performed a very thorough claim construction in this opinion, but what is most interesting about it is the procedural history. The Court (with another judge presiding) initially construed the claims at issue in March 2005, without holding a Markman hearing. Plaintiff then sought reconsideration regarding one of the patents at issue and defendant sought reconsideration regarding the other. The Court ultimately granted both motions and held a Markman hearing, which is the basis of this opinion.
While the initial claim constructions and those issued in this opinion were authored by two different judges, this is still the relatively rare case where the Court proves that claim construction is a matter of law which a court can continue to revisit throughout a proceeding.
This opinion may also show the importance of a Markman hearing — maybe with the additional information from the hearing reconsideration would not have been necessary. Of course, the opinion may not suggest that, it is impossible to make that judgment without having both been involved in the case and having been privy to the Court’s reasoning over time.