Results for means-plus-function claims
District court properly entered judgment as matter of law that accused excimer laser eye surgical device does not infringe asserted claims of plaintiff’s laser surgery patents because evidence of record does not support conclusion that accused device meets “beam dimension control means” or “means for focusing“ limitations of claims at issue.
When interpreting a means-plus-function claim, corresponding structure in a patent specification does not include software where only hardware elements are shown and described in the specification and there is no clear indication that would lead one of ordinary skill in the art to understand that software could be used to perform the specific function set forth in the claim element.
Under the “all-elements rule”, infringement cannot be found by way of the doctrine of equivalents if even one limitation of a claim or its equivalent is not present in the accused device. Thus, when determining the scope of a means-plus-function claim under the doctrine of equivalents, the absence of an element in the accused device that performs the properly construed function, or its equivalent, precludes a finding of infringement.