Thursday, October 17, 2002

Idea to improve patents. I think that patents should have a Disclaims section, as well as a Claims section. The idea is that the claims are supposed to define what the patent covers, but a series of Federal Circuit court decisions over the last 10 years has undermined that. Now, to really understand what a patent covers, you have to get the entire file history for $300, and try to decipher the confusing record. It is nearly impossible because the court decisions are confusing and contradictory, and not even the examiner and the inventor at the time necessarily knew what they were disclaiming. If the examiner were to approve a Disclaims section at the time the patent issues, then maybe it would make looking at the file history irrelevant.

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