This article was reprinted with permission from Law360.
In inter partes review proceedings, petitioners are required to indicate how the challenged claims are to be construed. For many claim terms, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board generally permits petitioners to provide “a simple statement” concerning the applicable claim construction standard in lieu of express constructions. When it comes to means-plus-function claim terms, however, petitioners are required to provide explicit claim constructions of such terms. As discussed below, recent institution decisions have turned on the PTAB’s assessment of means-plus-function claim terms.