How does a provisional support a nonprovisional patent application?

What does a provisional patent application do? As suggested in its name, the “provisional” in provisional patent application has a connotation of temporary or conditional. There is a short-term nature in a provisional application. Something further must be done to make the temporary patent rights permanent, and that something is the filing of a nonprovisional […]

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Should you fight for broader patent claims?

Broader patent claims: when less is more Before we dive into this discussion, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what we mean by broader patent claims. When it comes patent claims, broader does not necessarily mean more. In fact, it’s the opposite. Narrow claims state several elements, or claim limitations. Broad […]

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How to amend patent claims: marked-up amended claims

When are marked-up claims not required? Patent claims must be amended in a very certain manner. The USPTO has strict marking rules on how amended claims must be shown with respect to prior versions. The format of amended claims are generally called “marked-up” claims. There is no need to show marked-up claims in the following […]

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How to understand patent claims

Understanding utility patent claims The claims are often the least understood portion of a utility patent, and yet they matter the most. Attempting to understanding utility patent claims can feel like learning a foreign language. There is a lot of funky claim language like “comprising,” “said” and “wherein,” not to mention the hierarchy of independent […]

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What are negative claim limitations?

What is a negative claim limitation? A negative claim limitation is language recited in a patent claim that speaks to the absence of a feature, as opposed to a positive claim limitation that recites the presence of a feature. Negative limitations might be recited with words such as “devoid,” “absence,” “without,” “(whatever)-less,” “not including,” “excluding,” […]

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What is intended use claim language?

“Intended use” refers to language in a patent claim that arguably describes a purpose or function of the thing being claimed. It is, therefore, not given any patentable weight by a patent examiner who has deemed a claim limitation to constitute intended use. By regarding certain claim¬†language¬†as intended use, the examiner can generally disregard the […]

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