Astra notes that the '081 patent specification, as quoted above,
identifies HPMC as the preferred embodiment of hydrophilic gel
systems. (Col.3, lns.53-58, 60-62) (see also Col. 2, lns.
44-53) (explaining how the hydrophilic gel systems work).
This Court concludes that those skilled in the art would
recognize the term hydrophilic gel systems as recited in the
'081 claims to mean a delivery system of a water soluble gel-
and matrix-forming material and that Mutual has not directed
this Court to any portion of the intrinsic record which
indicates that this ordinary meaning should be varied.
E. Pharmaceutical Dosage Unit
Claim 17 provides: "A process for making a solid preparation
. . . incorporating the resulting solution or dispersion into a
suitable release controlling system to form a pharmaceutical
dosage unit." (Emphasis added). Astra argues that the term
pharmaceutical dosage unit should be given its ordinary meaning
and construed as a dosage form such as a tablet or capsule
containing a dose of a drug. Mutual contends that the '081
patent refers to tablets, capsules containing granular material,
and gelatin-filled capsules (gel caps) as suitable oral dosage
forms (citing the specification, Col. 4, Ins. 11-26);
accordingly, the limitation should be construed to include
orally-administered pharmaceutical dosage forms, examples of
which include tablets, capsules and gel caps. Astra acknowledges
that claim 17 is directed to "solid preparations," but argues
that Mutual's example of "gelatin-filled capsules (gel caps)" is
not anywhere in the '081 patent; rather, the use of the phrase
"gel tablets" in the specification refers to the preferred
embodiment of a gelling matrix tablet, (citing Ex. 1, Col. 4,
This Court concludes that persons skilled in the art would
recognize the term pharmaceutical dosage unit to mean a dosage
form such as a tablet or capsule containing a dose of a drug,
and that Mutual has not directed this Court to any portion of
the intrinsic record which would indicate that this ordinary
meaning should be varied.
The foregoing constitutes the Court's construction of the
terms presented by the parties from the claims designated in
connection with the Markman, hearing. To the extent that the
parties presented arguments concerning the validity of the '081
patent, this Court did not address those arguments, as this
issue is premature.
An appropriate Order follows.
AND NOW, this 19th day of August, 2002, upon consideration
of the briefs, exhibits, and deposition testimony, as well as
oral argument presented by the parties in connection with the
Markman hearing, in which counsel for all parties
participated, and upon consideration of the intrinsic and
extrinsic records of the patent-at-issue as indicated in the
foregoing Memorandum, it is hereby ORDERED that the meaning
and scope of the patent claims asserted to be infringed and
presented by the parties for construction are hereby determined
as set forth in the foregoing Memorandum.