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(Message started by: iploya on Oct 16th, 2007, 4:09pm)

Title: Method steps to be performed by a specific actor
Post by iploya on Oct 16th, 2007, 4:09pm
I am claiming a method wherein some of the method steps are to be performed by a specific actor.

What is a good way to indicate that the actor is the one performing a step?

The only approach that currently comes to mind is, for example:

A method, comprising:

providing a plurality of widgets to a customer;

selecting some of the widgets by the customer;

...


Title: Re: Method steps to be performed by a specific act
Post by pentazole on Oct 16th, 2007, 4:30pm
I'm not too savvy with these types of claims, but can you skip the step 2 and go directly to your next step which is let's say, machining the widgets?  some thing like:

providing a plurality of widgets to a customer;
machining the widgets selected by the customer;...

?

Title: Re: Method steps to be performed by a specific act
Post by iploya on Oct 16th, 2007, 4:43pm
Thanks for the suggestion. Well, I am alleging/hoping that some of the patentability of my method resides in who is doing what.  So, what I am striving for is a claim that clearly indicates which actor is performing certain steps.

After discussing with my SA, I am considering two approaches, either:


providing a plurality of widgets to a customer;

the customer selecting some of the widgets;

OR

providing a plurality of widgets to a customer;

selecting some of the widgets;

...

wherein the step of selecting some of the widgets is performed by the customer.

Title: Re: Method steps to be performed by a specific act
Post by PA on Oct 16th, 2007, 5:24pm
Right now you have one actor doing the providing.  And another actor doing the selecting.  Wouldn't infringement be difficult to prove?

How about:

receiving a selection of some of the plurality of widgets from the customer

Title: Re: Method steps to be performed by a specific act
Post by DJoshEsq on Oct 17th, 2007, 10:23am
I would also give some funcational limitations to the customer (what makes the customer different than those that have selected in the past)

Title: Re: Method steps to be performed by a specific act
Post by TataBoxInhibitor on Oct 19th, 2007, 8:50am
Sounds like if you use:

receiving a set of widgets

selecting a widget from the set of widgets received


Or something to the effect of making sure the actor is the one receiving a selecting, or performing the acts associated with the method.

Regards,


Title: Re: Method steps to be performed by a specific act
Post by TataBoxInhibitor on Oct 19th, 2007, 8:52am
Did you say that the novelty lies in the person who is doing the acting?  If so could you give me current granted patent or publication that deals with this?


Regards,


Title: Re: Method steps to be performed by a specific act
Post by iploya on Oct 24th, 2007, 8:49am

on 10/19/07 at 08:52:26, TataBoxInhibitor wrote:
Did you say that the novelty lies in the person who is doing the acting? If so could you give me current granted patent or publication that deals with this?


Regards,


Yeah, meant to clarify this point but guess I didn't.

Two examples come to mind:

1) Examiner takes an overly broad reading of a claim element/step, citing an instance where a human actor using senses and motor responses to perform the step that we intend to be performed by a machine (different actor). By tightening the claim language a bit, you get around that particular reference, at least to that element. Can't think of a particular instance off the top of my head, but it's happened.

2) A business method patent I wrote years ago at a previous firm. It was directed to a transaction method, and at the behest of the inventor we alleged novelty in terms of who gets paid for what in the process, offering argument/support for why this was not obvious.

EDIT:  Of course, I could be FOS, especially on example 2, but it's at least a position I would defend.



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