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Written January 30, 2019

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on January 25, 2019, vacated and remanded a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision concerning General Electric Co.‘s successful validity challenge of a patent relating to a coating that protects a substrate used in turbine engines. United Techs. Corp. v. General Elec. Co., Fed. Cir., No. 2018-1600, 1/25/19.

GE argued before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the term “bond layer” in the patent should be defined based on its location between other layers. UTC argued that the term should be defined based on its ability to adhere another layer to a substrate. The PTAB adopted GE’s definition and invalidated the challenged patent claims.

The Federal Circuit disagreed, reversing because the Board based its conclusion on an incorrect claim construction.

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