Thursday, August 7, 2008

Markush group gives punch to your claims

Patent claims, as we have learned in this category, is not an easy part of a patent, but they can make your life as an inventor a lot easier if the claims exploit all the possible claim tools known in the profession. Thus if you have invented a gadget that can be a gizmo, or a widget, or a thingie, or a dab, then you need to say it int eh claims. The catch it, you cannot use OR. In claims, AND is and and or. Claims, in this case, use the Markush group formula. According to this formula (X selected from the group of Y consisting of A, B and C) your invention's claim reciting the gadget's alternatives would look like this: ..., wherein said gadget is selected from the group gadgets consisting of a gizmo, a widget, a thingie and a dab. The only instance in the claim where OR can be admitted is when claiming an option on a device control, such as a washing machine dial: ...settings include operating a regular wash, a power wash, a spin, and a wash or spin only... aren't claims fun?

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