Friday, November 14, 2008

Device claims: configured vs. able

In previous posts like this I discuss the importance of handcrafting claim language, down to carefully picking verbs and nouns that clinch the spirit of the invention while reserving the maximum territory of the art.

An important difference exists between method and device claims. Method or system claims vary in their language, too: in a system claim, components of the system are designed, i.e., configured; whereas in a device claim a component is designed to perform a unique function, i. e., to enable, or to be capable of - better yet - to enable a function.

In device claims use configured to and never able to.

Thus, the language for a valve: a control device for enabling fluid communication between said electric mechanism and said collector upon demand. More to follow.

Annoying phone calls get a web 2.0 treatment

Our office used to get plenty of annoying spam calls which were just the regular type of elevator music. We didn't know or had the time to do anything about them. A paralegal once did a reverse search and discovered that the calls originated from the central switchboard of a Florida motel. The problem with the annoying phone calls gets addressed by the latest in web 2.0 ideas too. There is now the Harassing Caller Report site that pools the harassing call victims' reports. All is needed to report a phone number is the ability to leave a comment, just like while commenting on a blog or a forum post, and the report will be appended to the list under the phone number. Sometimes it is also to get some relief, because comments under a phone number may reveal that it is only a non-English speaking person having an innocent issue with the language. It seems like the site management has some ideas up ahead. It would be nice to know if they will become a sort of a consumer advocate service that can perform quick, automatic investigation and reporting to the FCC. The is intuitively formatted and is easy to use. Useful resource.