“Truth be told … context matters” (Supreme Court)

Aus der Opinion des U.S. Supreme Court (Justice Kagan) im Verfahren Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd., et alt. v. Novo Nordisk A/S et alt. vom 17. April 2012. Es ging dort u.a. um die Auslegung der Passage “on the ground that the patent does not claim . . . an approved method of using the drug” in 21 U. S. C. §355 zu Hatch-Waxman Counterclaims. Richtig, Sie sind im Kartellblog. Die Opinion dreht sich um Streitfragen zwischen forschender und Generika-Industrie. Das Zitat wollte ich Ihnen nicht vorenthalten:

Truth be told, the answer to the general question “What does ‘not an’ mean?” is “It depends” … “Not an” sometimes means “not any,” in the way Novo claims. If your spouse tells youhe is late because he “did not take a cab,” you will infer that he took no cab at all (but took the bus instead). If your child admits that she “did not read a book all summer,” you will surmise that she did not read any book (but went to the movies a lot). And if a sports-fan friend bemoans that “the New York Mets do not have a chance of winning the World Series,” you will gather that the team has no chance whatsoever (because they have no hitting). But now stop a moment. Suppose your spouse tells youthat he got lost because he “did not make a turn.” You would understand that he failed to make a particular turn,not that he drove from the outset in a straight line. Suppose your child explains her mediocre grade on a collegeexam by saying that she “did not read an assigned text.” You would infer that she failed to read a specific book, not that she read nothing at all on the syllabus. And supposea lawyer friend laments that in her last trial, she “did not prove an element of the offense.” You would grasp that she is speaking not of all the elements, but of a particular one. The examples could go on and on, but the point issimple enough: When it comes to the meaning of “not an,” context matters.


Ich verlinke zu Fundstücken, weil ich sie für bemerkenswert halte, nicht, weil ich die dort vertretene Meinung teile.

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