Posts Tagged: "patent claim drafting"

IPW Course: Patent Practice Training: Intro to Patent Prosecution

You’ve passed the patent bar exam. Now what? Having a license to practice is just the beginning. This is why Gene Quinn and John White designed An Introduction to Patent Prosecution: Patent Practice for Beginners. This interactive, live, online distance course will provide all the tools necessary to hit the ground running. What you need is a bridge between passing the patent bar and representing clients. This course will meet for 6 days from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM EST on November 13, 15, 18, 20, 22 and 25.

Introduction to Patent Prosecution: Patent Practice for Beginners

You’ve passed the patent bar exam. Now what? Having a license to practice is just the beginning. What you need is a bridge between passing the patent bar and representing clients. This is why Gene Quinn and John White designed An Introduction to Patent Prosecution: Patent Practice for Beginners. This interactive, live, online distance course will provide all the tools necessary to hit the ground running. From interacting with clients to agreements, to handling money, to drafting applications and responding to Office Actions, this course covers it all.

Software Patent-Eligible Subject Matter: Claiming Improvements in Computer Functionality

Particularize the claims.  This helps overcome the “abstract” part of a 101 rejection. Put details into the claims to define the steps performed in the software and hardware to a granular degree.  Don’t claim a result; claim the steps performed in accomplishing the result. That is, define the software computer program and hardware in discrete steps. Define what’s going on in each step of the computer program code. Go to the level of a software design engineer that annotates their code, to inform others as to what’s going on in the code.  If there is an algorithm claimed, particularize the claims to include the steps performed in implementing the algorithm.

A Primer on Indefiniteness and Means Plus Function

Means plus function claiming allows the drafter to claim the invention based on functionality rather than the more traditional (and preferred) claiming technique that employs structure within the body of the claim itself… If there is no structure in the specification the person of skill in the art cannot save the disclosure by understanding what the drafter intended to be covered by the means plus function limitation in the claims. Thus, means-plus-function claims are valid at the mercy of the specification, and only to the extent that the specification contains support for the structures that define the means… The Federal Circuit does not blindly elevate form over substance when evaluating whether a particular claim limitation invokes means treatment. See Greenberg v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc., 91 F.3d 1580, 1584 (Fed. Cir. 1996) (“We do not mean to suggest that section 112(6) is triggered only if the claim uses the word ‘means.’”).

Beware of Conditional Limitations when Drafting Patent Claims

Buried in the claim language, conditional limitations may be a vulnerability in an otherwise valuable claim. A conditional limitation is a claim feature that depends on a certain condition being present. For example, when or if condition X is present, feature Y is implemented or has effect. Without condition X, feature Y may be dormant or have no effect. Patent owners should be cognizant of possible conditional limitations implications because conditional limitations may affect claim validity and infringement as discussed below in the context of recent U.S. Patent Office and Federal Circuit cases. In Ex Parte Schulhauser, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) held certain claims as unpatentable based on conditional limitations.

The Immunotherapy Patent Landscape: Types of patent claims for immunotherapeutic inventions

Immunotherapy has emerged as one of the most promising mechanisms to combat diseases like cancer and microbial infections. Since 2000, multiple antibody drugs have reached blockbuster status, including the anti-TNF antibodies adalimumab and infliximab, the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab, the anti-VEGF-A antibody bevacizumab, and the anti-HER-2 antibody Trastuzumab. In 2016, five of the top 10 pharmaceuticals were antibody drugs, with combined sales exceeding $45.8 billion. The cancer immunotherapy market is expected to reach nearly $120 billion… The promise of immunotherapy as a treatment option has opened up the intellectual property landscape of the field. Many companies and institutions have filed patent applications related to the various drugs and targets… The claim language in a patent is crucial to the effective protection of the invention, and the balance between breadth of the claims and validity is a difficult one to achieve.

Patent Strategy: Advanced Patent Claim Drafting for Inventors

Today we pick up our series with discussion of some advanced patent claim drafting strategies for inventors and others new to the art of claim drafting. Sometimes those who draft patent claims get a little too cute for their own good. What is it that you are trying to accomplish? Are you trying to get the broadest claim that you can possibly obtain? If that is your goal you will probably be rather disappointed with your efforts even if you are successful. Today it is very easy to challenge issued patent claims, indeed easier than ever before. That means your goal has to be to obtain the broadest valid claim possible, not just the broadest claim that you can sneak by a patent examiner.

An Examiner’s Tips For Speedier Patent Prosecution

Interactions between patent examiners and patent practitioners are often tense. At worst, these interactions can be an exercise in restraint with both parties thinly veiling their disdain for one another. This adversarial approach can stall prosecution and run adverse to the practitioner’s purpose – i.e., to obtain the best patent claim scope possible for his or her client. Patent practitioners thus could benefit in many instances by having a better understanding of an examiner’s expectations and approaching prosecution with a mind toward working with the examiner instead of against the examiner. A conversation with an Examiner in a mechanical art unit provided the following tips for how practitioners may expedite the examination process by working (to the extent possible) within the examiner’s expectations.

Patent Drafting for Beginners: The anatomy of a patent claim

First, every patent claim needs a preamble, which is the introductory phrase in a claim… Second, every patent claim needs a transition. The most common transitions are: “comprising” and “consisting of” … Third, the first time you introduce a limitation you MUST introduce it with either “a” or “an”, as is grammatically appropriate… Below in an example of an independent claim that applies the above stated three simple rules, which is taken from U.S. Patent No. 6,009,555, titled Multiple component headgear system.

Patent Drafting for Beginners: A prelude to patent claim drafting

The art of patent claim drafting is an undeniably difficult art to master. It is, however, essential for those in the patent space to both appreciate, understand and master. Before we put the cart before the horse let’s take a step back. Given the importance of patent claims it is not unreasonable to want to start there, electing to jump right into the deep end. That would be a mistake. That is not how patent attorneys do it, and if you want to succeed that shouldn’t be your approach either. Before you ever think about writing patent claims there are several very basic questions must be answered first.

Drafting Patent Applications: Writing Method Claims

Method or process claims are relatively easy to write once you know what the core invention is and what is necessary to be included in the claim in order to overcome the prior art. Method or process claims will include active steps to achieve a certain result. In method claims the transition is typically either “comprising” or “comprising the steps of.” While legally there may be some distinction between these two different transitions, both are acceptable. It is also important to understand that each of the steps in a method or process claims use gerunds, which are a form of a verb that ends in “ing” and operates to direct the action that is to take place.

An Introduction to Patent Claims

The examination you receive from the patent examiner is never going to be any better than the patent claims you provide. If you provide preposterously broad patent claims and then add very few and perhaps common features to that preposterously broad claim in your dependent claims you are making it easy for the patent examiner to reject the preposterously broad claim and then also reject your barely narrowing dependent claims. Worse, you are left with absolutely no useful information about what the patent examiner thinks might be patentable. You are not in a meaningful position to know what prior art exists that the examiner will later throw at you, and you hardly have any useful basis to talk to the patent examiner.

Pursuit of Extremely Short Patent Claims

Dear Patent Attorney, Please stop filing extremely short, overly broad patent claims. I recently conducted a study to measure the effectiveness of various prosecution strategies. The study covered over a hundred thousand patent assets pursued by software companies, and for this sample, I found that filing extremely short, overly broad patent claims is a bad strategy in just about every way imaginable.

Was the Federal Circuit Trying to Save Us from Ourselves in Williamson v. Citrix?

In Williamson v. Citrix, the Federal Circuit overruled its own precedent that there is a “strong” presumption that claim limitations that do not use the term “means” are not means-plus-function limitations. This change has been decried by practitioners who purposefully avoid the word “means” in order to avoid means-plus-function treatment of their functionally claimed elements. Means-plus-function claiming is an opportunity to be embraced, not a trap to be avoided. Invoking §112(f) and the associated scope of a means-plus-function limitation is largely in the control of the patent drafter.

Functional Claiming of Computer-Implemented Inventions in View of Recent Decisions

The opinion focused on whether adequate structure corresponding to the “coordinating” function is disclosed in the specification. After determining that a special purpose computer is required to perform the function, the court searched for an algorithm for performing the function, but did not find one. The court rejected Williamson’s argument that the distributed learning control module controls communications among the various computer systems and that the “coordinating” function provides a presenter with streaming media selection functionality. The disclosures relied upon by Williamson were thought of by the court as merely functions of the distributed learning control module and opined that the specification does not set forth an algorithm for performing the claimed functions.