Thursday, July 31, 2008

Claim language skimps on words but projects scope-grabbing power

comprising is used only once in each claim. Only in the preamble is it not exclusive.

(The preamble is a legally non-binding part of a claim, by the way:

2. The channel system containing a converter and a hashing module, the system associated with said external display device....

The channel system containing a converter and a hashing module, the system

is a preamble, the rest is the body of the claim)

Instead of is we use including or having

(For example:

...said display device is a liquid crystal display...

should be

...said device having a liquid crystal display...)

As a matter of principle, any language used in a claim should be non-restrictive because you a patent examiner is free to interpret each word as limiting, hence is may restrict the device to be the liquid display only, and contain nothing else.

The term means is used as as little as possible.

It is indefinite and implies a potential and not a structural element.

designed and configured to…is for device claims:

..the device having the means for said lever...

should be

...the device designed and configured to attach said lever...

– in method claims instead of means, we use for [action]

the device provided with means for registration of...

should be

the device provided for registering...

notice that registering is consistent with the method language, which requires action verbs(registering, associating, calculating, opening, admitting) and not abstract nouns (registration).

Isn't this easy?

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