Construed Terms

January 24, 2011

[Editor’s Note: A host of new IP-related tools are being released to Westlaw this month. This article is one in a series dedicated to the new tools]

Soon Westlaw will release a new search field that upgrades searching power for patent claim language within our Markman Order databases. The new Construed Term field (CTM) functions similar to the Words and Phrases (WP) field available for cases and statutes. It identifies documents where a court interpreted specific terms. Almost all of our Markman Orders have been editorially enhanced to include the new field.

Try the following search in our MARKMAN-ALL database to get a sense of the information the CTM Field will retrieve:


The CTM field functions by searching  new editorial content that has been added to the Markman documents. The new content can be found at the top of the document or immediately following the headnotes, when headnotes are available within the order. The field displays the hyperlinked terms or phraseology construed in the order. Clicking the link takes the user to the portion of the order where the claim’s construct is discussed.




In some instances, this means directing users to the term itself.  In other instances, users will be directed to the actual construction, not the term. The reason for this is sometimes the term and the court’s interpretation are separated by multiple paragraphs. Still, the primary goal of the link is to guide the user to the relevant language, i.e. the  construction, or meaning given to individual claims.


A Construed Terms index is also available. This index is accessible from a link on the left side of the Markman documents, below the KeyCite links. The Construed Terms index is not an independently searchable database. Instead, users are directed to browse the alphabetical listings and then click on their desired link to run a search in Markman-ALL for that concept in the CTM field.


One final note: Stop words are still stop words.  Stop words are terms typically too common to be searched, like “before” or “into.” This is so even though courts are often construing these basic terms. Use the pound-sign before the term to generate the desired results: ctm(#into).