Eazypower Corp. v. Alden Corp., __ F. Supp.2d __, 2007 WL 2601309 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 6, 2007) (Denlow, Mag. J.)

Magistrate Judge Denlow construed the claims of plaintiff’s patents regarding bits for removing damaged screws and fasteners. Of particular interest, the Court defined “in a place including the axis” as “simply what is says”:  “in a plane including the axis.” Plaintiff argued that the Court should read manufacturing tolerances into the term. But the Court held that manufacturing tolerances could not be read into claim terms citing Senned, Inc. v. Richard-Allan Med. Indus., Inc., 888 F.2d 815 (Fed. Cir. 1989).

Of course, if the specifications and prosecution histories do not limit the doctrine of equivalents, plaintiff will be able to recapture products that would meet the “in a plane including the axis” but for manufacturing tolerances.