On Wed., Mar. 7, 2012, in Digital Vending v. Univ. of Phoenix, No. 2011-1216, the Federal Circuit (Rader, Linn and Moore (dissent-in-part)) issued a split decision on whether there had been a clear disavowal of claim scope. Judge Moore concluded that “[i]t is difficult to imagine a clearer case of disavowal.” The Majority, however, found that “the careful distinctions in specification descriptions avoid any hint that the inventors clearly disavowed claim scope with respect to the method claims.”
This case also provides some procedural insight on what claim constructions arguments may be raised on appeal. The Court refused to consider a construction that was “substantially different in scope from the construction it sought below” or a challenge to a construction adopted by the district court based on the parties stipulation.