Bottom line: Software patent specifications require disclosure of an algorithm for all means-plus-function limitations. Otherwise, the claim may be invalid for being indefinite. The problem may not be related solely to means limitations since a non-means limitation could be impliedly construed as a means-plus-function limitation even without using the trigger word … [Read more...]
Peans Plus Function
A claim limitation invoking 35 USC 112(f) wherein the limitation includes all structure associated with the function disclosed in the patent specification and linked to the function.
Bottom line: A claim with a means plus function limitation may invalidate the claim if the claim and the specification are not properly drafted. As such, it may be prudent to avoid language that implicates means plus function such as solely functional language and the operative trigger term “means.” Moreover, this case (Media Rights Technologies v. Capital One Financial … [Read more...]
Bottom line: Under Williamson v. Citrix Online (en banc Fed. Cir. 2015), the Federal Circuit, en banc, lowered the standard back to the pre-2004 standard for when a claim limitation is to be construed as a means plus function (MPF) limitation even when the patent drafter did not intend the claim limitation to be construed as a MPF limitation, thereby increasing the odds that a … [Read more...]
For software patents including a computer-implemented means-plus-function limitation, the patent application or patent must disclose an algorithm or structure for performing the claimed function. This is to satisfy the definiteness requirement of 35 U.S.C. §112, second paragraph. The algorithm or structure need not be in any particular format but must simply be expressed as … [Read more...]
The following case illustrates my propensity for limiting my use of what patent attorneys call the means plus function claim limitation. There are particular uses for means plus function limitations but more often than not, they seem to be more trouble than they are worth. I will go over some instances where I think that they are useful down below. Background of means plus … [Read more...]
Clarity is one of the basic goals for claim drafting. The patent application is a tool to explain terms used in the claims. A response to an official action of the Patent Office revolves around the claims. The following case is an example of a claim which was not clear. The claim language at issue was “a release means for retaining …” Baran v. Medical Device Technologies, … [Read more...]