Ex parte HEIMBURGER et al. - Page 5




                   Appeal No. 1997-3501                                                                                                                             
                   Application No. 08/253,232                                                                                                                       



                                      Analysis begins with a key legal question ! what is the                                                                       
                                      invention claimed?  Courts are required to view the claimed                                                                   
                                      invention as a whole.  35 U.S.C.  103.  Claim interpretation,                                                                
                                      in light of the specification, claim language, other claims and                                                               
                                      prosecution history, is a matter of law and will normally control                                                             
                                      the remainder of the decisional process.  [Footnote omitted.]                                                                 

                   To that end, we note that during ex parte prosecution, claims are to be given their broadest                                                     
                   reasonable interpretation consistent with the description of the invention in the                                                                
                   specification.  In re Zletz, 893 F.2d 319, 321, 13 USPQ2d 1320, 1322 (Fed. Cir. 1989).                                                           
                   As background, Factor VIII is a complex of two components, Factor VIII:C and Factor VIII:                                                        
                   vWF (also referred to as von Willebrand Factor), each with different genetic control and                                                         
                   biochemical functions.  Factor VIII:C serves as a coagulation promoting protein and Factor                                                       
                                                                                       1                                                                            
                   VIII: vWF serves as a platelet adhesion protein.   The invention of claim 24 is directed to a                                                    
                   process for preparation of a pasteurized and purified von Willebrand factor (vWF)                                                                
                   concentrate.                                                                                                                                     
                            In claim 24, we interpret step “b) treating said solution with an anion exchanger to                                                    
                   which F VIII:C binds to obtain a pasteurized von Willebrand factor concentrate free of F                                                         
                   VIII:C;” consistent with the specification and prosecution history as meaning, “the factor VIII                                                  
                   binds to basic ion exchangers . . . ,  whereas vWF remains in solution.”  Specification,                                                         



                            1See, e.g., U.S. Patent 4,822,472, filed May 15, 1987.                                                                                  
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