A Markman hearing is a special pretrial hearing in patent litigation for the presiding judge to interpret the claims asserted by a patent, typically in connection with a patent infringement lawsuit. This is also called "claim construction." In this manner, the actual trial will be more efficient, because it will focus on the interpretation adopted by the judge instead of the multiple interpretations advanced by the various parties.
The name is based on a unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court:
|“||Accordingly, we hold that the interpretation of the word "inventory" in this case is an issue for the judge, not the jury, and affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.||”|
Markman v. Westview Instruments, 517 U.S. 370, 391, 116 S. Ct. 1384, 1396 (1996).