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Kimberly-Clark Corporation owns three U.S. patents directed to diapers with elasticized side pockets, U.S. Patent Nos. 4,704,116 (Enloe I), 5,415,644 (Enloe II), and 5,599,338 (Enloe III). Kimberly-Clark brought suit against Tyco International (US), Inc., the Kendall Company, Inbrand Corporation, and Confab, Inc., (collectively, Tyco) in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, asserting infringement of all three patents. After the district court construed the claims, the parties advised the court that under the court’s claim construction Tyco did not infringe. The court therefore entered judgment in favor of Tyco, and Kimberly-Clark appealed. Because the district court correctly construed the claims in all three patents to be limited to “fluid pervious flaps,” we affirm.


All three Enloe patents describe an improved design for disposable diapers. Disposable diapers typically include a backsheet, a bodyside liner, and an absorbent body or pad disposed between the backsheet and the bodyside liner. Enloe I, col. 4, ll. 31-34. The bodyside liner is made of a liquid pervious material, while the backsheet is made of a liquid impervious material. Enloe I, col. 4, ll. 34-36. Enloe proposed adding a pair of flaps attached to or formed from the bodyside liner. These inner flaps form pockets into which solid fecal material collects and is contained. Enloe I, col. 4, ll. 63-64. They may also serve to strain fluidic fecal material, allowing the liquid portions to be absorbed by the absorbent body or pad. Enloe I, col. 4, ll. 65-68. The inner flaps, 30 and 32, are shown in Figure 2, a cross-sectional view of the improved diaper:

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