If your eyes are rolling back in your head while you're reading this, consider yourself normal. If you're getting excited, then you might love claim construction hearings, those patent litigation proceedings during which lawyers argue about the meaning of words—especially the meaning of everyday words. Other than the trial itself, the claim construction process is the most important part of a patent lawsuit, one that's been required since the Supreme Court's Markman decision in 1995. How a court decides to define a particular term can put an accused product definitively within, or outside of, the patent claims at issue in a lawsuit.
Now, the Public Patent Foundation has released a free "Claim Construction dictionary" that the group predicts could well reduce the expense and difficulty of conducting research on patents. In fact, David Garrod, who edited the dictionary, believes they could make researching patent claims—whether in connection with a claim construction hearing, or an infringement opinion—"dramatically cheaper."