Not Means-Plus-Function

Term “baffle,” as used in claims directed to impact-resistant building modules consisting of modular wall panels, is not means-plus-function limitation, since term does not expressly use word “means,” thus raising presumption that it is not subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, and since word “baffle” which carries ordinary meaning of “something for deflecting, checking or regulating flow,” sufficiently recites structure, even though claims do not identify matter upon which baffle acts.  However, meaning of term is nonetheless limited to by specification to panels providing impact or projectile resistance, oriented at angles other than 90 degrees, since specification repeatedly refers to impact resistance, especially against projectiles such as bullets and bombs, since baffles oriented at 90 degrees cannot deflect projectiles as described in patent, and are disclosed in prior art addressed and distinguished by specification, and since embodiment at which baffles are angled at other than 90 degrees is only embodiment disclosed in patent, not merely preferred embodiment.  (Phillips v. AWH Corp., 70 USPQ2d 1417, CA FC, 4/8/04).

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