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alan_watts
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Patentese
« on: May 28th, 2007, 4:20pm »
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I'm struggling with patentese.
 
One problem that I have is that in a description of a complex apparatus which has a large number of elements where each element can be either singular or plural, writing sentences becomes a problem. If I use "at least one" 10 times in the row then the sentence is unreadable. On another hand if I use "a element"  then I'm wondering if I'm specific enough to let one skilled in art know that I could also use more then one element. Particularly in the following sentences where I say "the element", or should I refer to it later as  "the element(s).
 
Here are a few examples that I found in different patent applications. Some of them sound very awkward but are being used.
 
Which one do you use:
"a wheel"  and thereafter "the wheel(s)"
at least one wheel
at least a one wheel
at least one a wheel
one or more wheel
one or more wheels
one or more a wheels
 
Also what form would you rather use:
 
...limiting quantity of units...
or  
...limiting quantity of a unit...
 
The first form implies plural because of the "s" at the end but the quantity could be just 1 unit.  
 
The second implies singular but the quantity could be more then 1.
« Last Edit: May 28th, 2007, 11:20pm by alan_watts » IP Logged
McGregot
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Re: Patentese
« Reply #1 on: Jun 4th, 2007, 8:07pm »
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Looks like nobody is qualified or capable to answer your question Smiley
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Wiscagent
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Posts: 843
Re: Patentese
« Reply #2 on: Jun 4th, 2007, 8:37pm »
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Probably no one has responded because the answer is so fact dependent.
 
Here’s one approach: write a claim with each item in singular form, then in a dependent claim explicitly stating that any of the items can be a plurality.  For example:
 
Claim 1.  A gadget comprising a power source, an on/off switch, and a light source, wherein the light source illuminates when the switch is in the on position.
 
Claim 2.  The gadget of claim 1 comprising a plurality of power sources, on/off switches, or light sources.
 
Alternatively just have claim 1, and make it clear in the description that “a power source” means at least one power source, and so forth.
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Richard Tanzer
Patent Agent
alan_watts
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Re: Patentese
« Reply #3 on: Jun 6th, 2007, 1:56pm »
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Here is a specific example of what I'm talking about. It applies to the description of the invention and and not to the claims. I added in the bolierplate text that an "(s)" at the end of a word shall mean "one or more" of the lements described by that word.
 
In this embodiment of the invention an owner of a  timeshare-property or an authorized party, having a legal authority to limit a quantity of a share(s) issued for the timeshare property, exercises at least one legal right to limit a quantity of the share(s).  The  right(s) to limit the quantity of the share(s) is(are) exercised using a one or more  agreement(s), or a one or more declaration(s), or at least a one agreement together with at least a one declaration. Wherein said agreement(s) and/or declaration(s) is(are) legally or financially, or legally and financially enforceable, and obligates(obligate) at least one executing party legally and/or financially to perform as agreed and/or declared and limit the quantity of share(s) according to one or more provision(s) of the agreement(s) and/or statement(s) made in the declaration(s).
 
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alan_watts
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Re: Patentese
« Reply #4 on: Jun 6th, 2007, 2:07pm »
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Can anyone suggest a better way of writing the above paragraph ? Common English is rather useless for writing logically correct sentences unless we take under consideration implied meanings that can be very controversial and misunderstood.
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