This case concerns how patent claim interpretation can be narrowed by the specification and prosecution history. The invention at issue was a surgical mesh plug that is placed on the weakened muscle wall area of a hernia so that muscle cells can grow on the plug and restore the strength of the muscle wall in the affected area. C. R. Bard, Inc. obtained U.S. Patent No. 5,356,432 on the surgical plug. When U.S. Surgical made a similar surgical plug, Bard sued for infringement.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.