This Note explores the uncertainty and inequity created through the dichotomy approach to claim interpretation in the context of reexamination of previously litigated patents. To address this uncertainty and inequity, this Note argues that the claim interpretation determined in a Markman hearing should be binding on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) during reexamination of a previously litigated patent as a form of issue preclusion. To accomplish this result, this Note proposes three changes to current patent practice: first, the definition of “party” must be expanded to include the PTO; second, the PTO must abandon the broadest reasonable interpretation standard of claim interpretation when reexamining previously litigated patents; and third, Article III courts must deny motions to stay for the purpose of reexaminations.

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