Federal Circuit Holds that Although Infringement May Be Decided Based on Capability of Infringing the Claims, the Alleged Infringing Product Must Be Able to Perform the Function in the Claim

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in INVT SPE LLC v. International Trade Commission (Fed. Cir. Aug. 31,2022) affirmed the ITC determination that the respondents did not violate 19 U.S.C. § 1337. The Court determined that in some cases, “capable of operating” according to a claimed limitation is sufficient for a finding of infringement based on the claim language and often can be deciphered by whether the claim is an apparatus or method claim. Functional language, common in computer and software claims, construed to define and delimit does not require actual performance but mere capability. Although the claims in this case are directed to capability, the court found that INVT still failed to show infringement.