Federal Circuit Holds that a Definition Incorporated by Reference Does Not Necessarily Have to Limit a Definition in an Asserted Patent for the Same Term When the Two Definitions Are Not Competing.

The Federal Circuit, in Finjan LLC v. ESET, LLC, Case No. 21-2093 (Fed. Cir. 2022), reiterated that subject matter incorporated by reference does become part of the host patent but does not “necessarily have to” restrict the host patent if the “two … can exist in harmony within the patent family.” The Court expressed that differing definitions for the same term throughout a patent family does not constitute competing subject matter when the differences are directed to a subset invention.