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Lexicography and Patents

The United States has a strong tradition of both lexicography and patent law.  

The lexical tradition in the United States was arguably launched in 1828 with the pioneering publication of Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language.  Since that time, the name Webster's has been synonymous with dictionary publishing in the United States.  Furthermore,  the goal of establishing of a system for awarding patents was enshrined, from the start, in the United States Constitution.  

Today, these two traditions intersect in the process of "claim construction"—the process of assigning meanings to the words that make up a patent claim, and generally carried out in U.S. District Court's in a proceeding called a "Markman Hearing."  

In addition to his technical and legal experience, Jim Boyle, the founder of Boyle, PLLC, has had direct professional experience in the dictionary publishing industry.  Before he entered law school in 1996, Jim Boyle was an associate editor on the staff of the American Heritage Dictionary.  During his tenure on the staff, he contributed to several published dictionaries, a thesaurus, and a book on English usage:

● The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995)
 ● Dictionary of Computer Words, Revised Edition (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995)
● Webster's II: New College Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995)
● Roget's II: The New Thesaurus (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995)
● The American Heritage Book of English Usage (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996)
● The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000)

Boyle, PLLC prides itself on applying lexical techniques and methods to the fundamental process of claim construction in patent law.

Related Professional(s)

James J. Boyle, Ph.D., J.D.