En Banc CAFC Retains Cybor Rule of No Deference for Claim Construction, Citing Stare Decisis
In a 6-4 decision, the en banc Federal Circuit concluded as a matter of stare decisis that the rule in Cybor that claim construction is an issue of law subject to de novo review on appeal will be retained. Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., Fed. Cir., No 2012-2014, 2/21/2014.
Judge Newman's opinion was joined by Judges Lourie, Dyk, Prost, Moore, and Taranto, and was accompanied by a concurring opinion by Judge Lourie. A dissenting opinion was written by Judge O'Malley, joined by Chief Judge Rader and Judges Reyna and Wallach. Judges Chen and Hughes took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
This case was taken for en banc review in March of 2013, when the Court said it would consider whether to overrule Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc., 138 F.3d 1448 (Fed. Cir. 1998). That en banc decision held that claim construction is an issue of law subject only to de novo review.