Dans la cause Biomedino, LLC v. Waters Technologies Corporation, et al. (June 18, 2007), la Federal Circuit des États-Unis a affrimé l’invalidité sous l’article 112, second paragraphe, d’une revendication visant un appareil de regénération moléculaire incluant “control means for automatically operating valves”.
Les seules références dans la description Ã un “control means” étant un block identifié “Control” Ã la Figure 6 et une mention que le procédé de regénération “may be controlled automatically by known differential pressure, valving and control equipment”, la description ne décrirait pas assez de structure pour cet élément revendiqué.
Selon le Juge:
Essentially this case asks the following question: for purposes of Â§ 112, Â¶ 6, is sufficient corresponding structure disclosed when the specification simply recites that a claimed function can be performed by known methods or using known
equipment where prior art of record and the testimony of experts suggest that known methods and equipment exist?
. . . In Atmel it was not the fact that one skilled in the art was aware of known circuit techniques that resulted in a conclusion that sufficient structure was recited. Rather, it was the inclusion in the written description of the title of the article which itself described the structure for a “known circuit technique.” Expert testimony was used to show what the title of the article would convey to one skilled in the artâ€”in that case it was “the precise structure of the means recited in the specification.”
. . . The inquiry [here] is whether one of skill in the art would understand the specification itself to disclose a structure, not simply whether that person would be capable of implementing a structure. Med. Instrumentation, 344 F.3d at 1212 (citing Atmel, 198 F.3d at 1382). Accordingly, a bare statement that known techniques or methods can be used does not disclose structure. To conclude otherwise would vitiate the language of the statute requiring “corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification.”