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The Law Office of Joan I. Norek

        Intellectual Property

            Chicago, Illinois

                                                    w w w . n o r e k l a w . c o m




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Meaningful Patent Protection

Meaningful patent protection means a patent that provides substantial protection:

  • Extent of patent protection identified in the claims.

  • The claims are found at the end of the patent.

  • The claims recite strings of elements.

  • The claims cover items that have each recited element.

  • Broad patent claims have few elements.

  • Broad patent claims have no unessential elements.

  • Broad patent claims provide meaningful patent protection.

  • Narrow patent claims have lots of elements.

  • Narrow patent claims have nonessential elements.

  • Narrow patent claims provide no meaningful patent protection.

Warning - a dependent claim (one that refers to a preceding claim) includes all elements recited in the referenced claim or claims.

Example - patent claim recites 'a chair having four legs supporting a seating platform'.

  • The claim covers all four-legged chairs even if they have other features such as a back rest and arm rests, because they have all recited elements.

  • The claim does not cover a three-legged stool, because it does not have four legs.

Example - patent claim recites 'a chair having at least three legs supporting a seating platform and a back rest'.

  • The claim covers all four-legged chairs with back rests, regardless of their extra features.

  • The claim does not cover four-legged chairs without back rests.

  • The claim covers a three-legged stool only if the stool has a back rest.

  • The claim does not cover a single-leg (pedestal) stool even if it has a back rest because it does not have at least three legs.

Warning - if a claim recites an unnecessary element, competitors can avoid infringement merely by omitting that unnecessary element from their product.

other topics - patent infringement, patent applications, patent ready, or patent it or not

more topics - corporate patent applications, entry-level patent applications

questions, inquiries - contact the firm (all modes) or call 312.419.8055

or back to patent application outline, basic patent searches 



The Law Office of Joan I. Norek
25 E. Washington Street, Suite 1400
Chicago, Illinois  60602
Tel.  312.419.8055   Fax 312.236.6686
Contact the Firm


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Copyright 2004 - 2014 Joan I. Norek, The Law Office of Joan I. Norek 
All rights reserved.
noreklaw, noreklaw.com and PatentAttitude are trademarks and service marks of Joan I. Norek, Chicago, Illinois.

Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website provides information and resources but is neither legal advice nor a substitute for the legal advice of an IP attorney.  Retentions are subject to the discretion of the firm.
This website was designed and constructed by Joan I. Norek.