Von Holdt v. A-1 Tool Corp., No.. 04 C 4123, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 19, 2009) (Manning, J.).

Judge Manning adopted Magistrate Judge Brown’s claim construction Report and Recommendation over defendants’ objections in this patent infringement case involving molded buckets with stacking strength.  Of particular interest:

  • "Side-by-side" meant "one beside the other."  The Court refused to hold that nothing could be between the ribs of the buckets because doing so would be construing the terms in reference to the accused devices.
  • "[A] relatively large radius" meant a single large radius, despite the fact that "a" or "an" following comprising language generally means one or more.  In this case, one or more would not make sense.  Multiple radii would require one or more radius to be smaller than the others.  Additionally, the strongest bucket configuration was a single radius, as shown in the patent figures.
  • "In alignment" meant in a "straight line with," not "parallel."  Requiring the alignment to be parallel was an unnecessary restriction.