"If the claim preamble, when read in the context of the entire claim, recites limitations of the claim, or, if the claim preamble is 'necessary to give life, meaning, and vitality' to the claim, then the claim preamble should be construed as if in the balance of the claim."
I've never had an examiner who agreed with me on what that meant, a preamble giving life, meaning and vitality to a claim. Compounding the confusion, I even once had an examiner tell me that the claim had to breathe life into the preamble.
I'd be curious what a preamble giving life, meaning, and vitality to a claim means to you, dablueman. Myself, I think the claim examples I gave earlier in this thread are good demonstrations. If an examiner is using a zeppelin reference to try to reject claims on an angioplasty balloon just because the examiner is disregarding the preamble, then the preamble is giving life to the claim, because the claim becomes incomprehensible without the preamble, as evidenced by the introduction of the totally off-base zeppelin art.
BTW, perhaps in addition to the other cases he just cited, the case law Jim is looking for is Catalina v. Coolsavings
, as discussed earlier in this thread, and the more recent case
which further interpreted it, which I linked to a few posts above.