Morningware, Inc. v. Hearthware Home Prods., Inc., No. 09 C 4348, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 23, 2011) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve construed the the claims of counter-plaintiff Hearthware’s patent involving halogen convection ovens. Of particular note, the Court construed the following terms:

  • "A cooking enclosure" means "an oven housing and a metallic oven pan supported by a base." This definition fit with the language of the abstract and the summary of the invention.
  • "A fan" means "one or more fans." The Court declined Morningware’s argument that fan be limited to the fan described in the preferred embodiment.
  • "A fan chamber" means "one or more enclosed spaces, through which a fan moves air, that are in the power head and above both the cooking enclosure and the heating unit." The Court held that a more particular definition proposed by Morningware would require improper importation of limitations into the claims from the specification.