What is the difference betwee 'Method' and 'Apparatus' in a patent claim area

Discussion in 'VHDL' started by wtxwtx@gmail.com, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Hi,
    I read patent 6,914,453 by IBM and trying to follow the paper's claim
    pattern to write my claims.

    The next question is:
    What is the difference between Method and Apparatus in a patent claim
    area?

    The interesting thing happens with the claims:
    The patent repeats all sentences in claims for Method with a few
    changes to make up claims for Apparatus.

    I will follow their patterns, but I really don't realize why to do them
    repeatedly?

    Any patent precedents that if not repeated, a very serious consequences
    would follow?

    Thank you.

    Weng
     
    , Dec 28, 2005
    #1
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  2. Guest

    wrote:
    > Hi,
    > I read patent 6,914,453 by IBM and trying to follow the paper's claim
    > pattern to write my claims.
    >
    > The next question is:
    > What is the difference between Method and Apparatus in a patent claim
    > area?
    >
    > The interesting thing happens with the claims:
    > The patent repeats all sentences in claims for Method with a few
    > changes to make up claims for Apparatus.
    >
    > I will follow their patterns, but I really don't realize why to do them
    > repeatedly?
    >
    > Any patent precedents that if not repeated, a very serious consequences
    > would follow?
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    > Weng


    The Apparatus claims cover the device itself: its component parts and
    their physical arrangement.

    The Method claims cover the way in which the gadget operates, the
    process performed by the parts.

    Regards,
    James Arthur (Disclaimer: IANAL)
     
    , Dec 28, 2005
    #2
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  3. Robert Baer Guest

    Re: What is the difference betwee 'Method' and 'Apparatus' in a patentclaim area

    wrote:

    > Hi,
    > I read patent 6,914,453 by IBM and trying to follow the paper's claim
    > pattern to write my claims.
    >
    > The next question is:
    > What is the difference between Method and Apparatus in a patent claim
    > area?
    >
    > The interesting thing happens with the claims:
    > The patent repeats all sentences in claims for Method with a few
    > changes to make up claims for Apparatus.
    >
    > I will follow their patterns, but I really don't realize why to do them
    > repeatedly?
    >
    > Any patent precedents that if not repeated, a very serious consequences
    > would follow?
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    > Weng
    >

    Read at least a dozen different patents, pick those that "closely"
    relate to what you are doing.
    Note that there are two kinds of claims, independent and dependent.
    The first claim is the most important and is always an independent claim.
    Usually, but not always, the second claim is a dependent claim and
    will be worded like "...of claim 1" or such, some aspect being a little
    different than that described in claim one.
    Crafting claims is an art.
    You must describe the novel item so others "skilled in the art" can
    reproduce it.
    That does not mean that what they produce will work as well as what
    you invented, and/or that they *understand* or *believe* what you said.
    Also, if the device is completely novel (such as the transistor first
    patented in the US by Lillienfeld in the late 1920s), it is not required
    that a correct theory be described - a wild guess will do.
    And....even as a "small entity" it is expensive.
    If the claims are crafted properly, few if any will raise an
    objection (does not correctly fit the legal requirements) and a good
    patent lawyer can "argue" (ie: give good legal reasons) that the wording
    is OK as-is.
    Furthermore, the time in process will be "short" - less than 2 years.
    The claims should cover all possible aspects that can be legally
    covered; some claims being rather specific and others as general as
    possible, looking at the item upside-down, sideways, backwards,
    inside-out, and crazy-blue-sky if one can.
    If you invent the paper clip and describe only its holding
    capabilities, you lose the sales and profits of its use as a slingshot.
     
    Robert Baer, Dec 29, 2005
    #3
  4. Guest

    Hi Robert,
    Thank you for your excellent advice.

    Here are you key points:
    1. Read at least a dozen "closely" relate patents;
    2. You must describe the novel items;
    3. The claims should cover all possible aspects that can be legally
    covered.

    I think this is inventor's responsibility:
    looking at the item upside-down, sideways, backwards, inside-out, and
    crazy-blue-sky if one can.
    The example of paper clip doesn't exist for eletronical circuits.

    For eletronical circuit, the inventor must have to think a lot about
    any possible designs around patents that any lawyers couldn't do it.
    Block them or invent them together.

    I don't understand the following statement:
    even as a "small entity" it is expensive.

    Thank you.

    Weng
     
    , Dec 29, 2005
    #4
  5. Robert Baer Guest

    Re: What is the difference betwee 'Method' and 'Apparatus' in a patentclaim area

    wrote:

    > Hi Robert,
    > Thank you for your excellent advice.
    >
    > Here are you key points:
    > 1. Read at least a dozen "closely" relate patents;
    > 2. You must describe the novel items;
    > 3. The claims should cover all possible aspects that can be legally
    > covered.
    >
    > I think this is inventor's responsibility:
    > looking at the item upside-down, sideways, backwards, inside-out, and
    > crazy-blue-sky if one can.
    > The example of paper clip doesn't exist for eletronical circuits.
    >
    > For eletronical circuit, the inventor must have to think a lot about
    > any possible designs around patents that any lawyers couldn't do it.
    > Block them or invent them together.
    >
    > I don't understand the following statement:
    > even as a "small entity" it is expensive.
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    > Weng
    >

    The paper clip example was just an example and not intended to relate
    to chemical patents, boilogical patents, electronic patents or any
    specific type or class of patents.
    It was intended to only show that some un-thought-of aspect can be
    missed.
    Look at the charges; a "small entity" pays thousands of dollars -
    especially when one adds in the maintenance fees.
    Patents are as good and as bad as a copyright.
    All they do is give the holder incontestable proof that they are the
    owner, period.
    The size of the owner's wallet is more important when court action is
    deemed necessary.
    Only the rich win.
    See what Don Lancaster has to say about patents.
    Now you can do all of the research, write the the patent including
    well-crafted claime, and then post it on the web thereby putting it into
    the public domain.
    That means that any art derived from the patent is mostly PD itself,
    unless something "novel" is added - and only *that something* could be
    patented by that inventer.
    If your patent is something relatively fundamental (maser) then all
    new art based on that patent would theoretically be PD (if i understand
    the general drift of patent law correctly).
    I have written up a few patents and put them on the web.
    A hell of a lot cheaper and my wallet does not have to be invaded in
    defending poachers.
     
    Robert Baer, Dec 30, 2005
    #5
  6. Guest

    Hi Robert,
    I checked USPTO and found you hold 5 patents.

    I like to listen to your advices, experiences and lessons all ears.

    Several things for me to file patents are:
    1. The circuits must be novel, and it will be applied in the industry
    without doubt.

    For example, they must be dramatic advantages over current ones in one
    of following respects: speed, performance, saving power or saving
    logic.

    2. The 'novel' circuit must have potential buyers to make money.

    3. History will keep your invention as a record and the circuit can go
    into textbooks.

    But basically, making money is the most important factor to file a
    patent.

    Weng
     
    , Dec 30, 2005
    #6
  7. Guest

    Hi,
    I am following patent 6,914,453 by IBM to write claims.

    I would like to ask another question:
    What is the difference between 'providing' and 'applying' in
    a patent claim area for electronic circuit?

    In the above patent, it writes:
    1. A method ...
    providing a clock input to the logic circuits;
    providing one or more static signal inputs to the logic circuit; <--
    generating one or more dynamic signal inputs ...
    applying the one or more dynamic signal input to the circuit;
    ....
    4. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of
    applying one or more static signal inputs to the logic circuit.

    >From the above descriptions, I am confused about why claim 4

    repeats a step that has already been described, but insead of
    using 'providing', it uses 'applying' this time.

    Thank you.

    Weng
     
    , Dec 30, 2005
    #7
  8. Robert Baer Guest

    Re: What is the difference betwee 'Method' and 'Apparatus' in a patentclaim area

    wrote:

    > Hi Robert,
    > I checked USPTO and found you hold 5 patents.
    >
    > I like to listen to your advices, experiences and lessons all ears.
    >
    > Several things for me to file patents are:
    > 1. The circuits must be novel, and it will be applied in the industry
    > without doubt.
    >
    > For example, they must be dramatic advantages over current ones in one
    > of following respects: speed, performance, saving power or saving
    > logic.
    >
    > 2. The 'novel' circuit must have potential buyers to make money.
    >
    > 3. History will keep your invention as a record and the circuit can go
    > into textbooks.
    >
    > But basically, making money is the most important factor to file a
    > patent.
    >
    > Weng
    >

    Well, *dramatic* advantages are not really necessary; making the
    device more useable or practical is sufficient.
    Check my website oil4lessllc.com and look at the Mosley patent and
    then at the two i put into PD as an example.
    If one wants to be nasty, the item patented does not have to be
    practical, does not have to be buildable by ordinary means.
    Hell, i have seen numerous patents on things that were obvious to
    even those *not* skilled in the particular art (ie: legally speaking the
    patent should not have been awarded).
    And i have seen patents that were almost exact copies of one another
    (up to three!).
    One patent i saw was intriguing; it purported to be a patent on a
    plastic coated bike sprocket, but really was a chemical patent "hiding"
    in a different classification.
    Do your own patent search for background and interference (of idea);
    patent lawyers are very expensive and if the one chosen lacks a
    background in the field of art that your idea covers, then their search
    will not be as wide or deep as needed.
    The Patent Clearing house in Sunnyvale CA is the best in the nation -
    mainly because they have *all* of the cross reference material that is
    available.
    If and when you do go for a patent lawyer, make sure that they do
    have the relevant background (5 years or more).
    And have the whole patent written up; even format it the same way as
    required for submittal.
    Have those you trust go over wording of the claims, suggest added
    ones, check spelling, etc.
    If there is a term commonly used in similar patents but is not
    standard english, use the "patent-ese" not English.
    For example, in the pump patent, note the term "depending" is used,
    where English would use "descending".
     
    Robert Baer, Jan 1, 2006
    #8
  9. Robert Baer Guest

    Re: What is the difference betwee 'Method' and 'Apparatus' in a patentclaim area

    wrote:

    > Hi,
    > I am following patent 6,914,453 by IBM to write claims.
    >
    > I would like to ask another question:
    > What is the difference between 'providing' and 'applying' in
    > a patent claim area for electronic circuit?
    >
    > In the above patent, it writes:
    > 1. A method ...
    > providing a clock input to the logic circuits;
    > providing one or more static signal inputs to the logic circuit; <--
    > generating one or more dynamic signal inputs ...
    > applying the one or more dynamic signal input to the circuit;
    > ...
    > 4. The method of claim 1, further comprising the step of
    > applying one or more static signal inputs to the logic circuit.
    >
    >>From the above descriptions, I am confused about why claim 4

    > repeats a step that has already been described, but insead of
    > using 'providing', it uses 'applying' this time.
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    > Weng
    >

    If you look closely at claim #1, note the use of providing,
    generating, applying, precharging, evaluating, holding, and converting
    are all used (listed in order of occurrence).
    In #4, "applying" would appear to mean that an external signal is
    used (applied).
    In #1, "providing" appears to be a modifier of the action "step".
    I ain't no engrish hexpert, nor familiar with "patentese" related to
    logic circuits, so i could be very wrong in those assessments.
    Look at at least a dozen patents direcly related to the field of
    interest - and keep an eye out for similar or identical constructs like
    those you mentioned.
    That is how i discovered that "depending" was patentese for the
    engrish term "descending".
     
    Robert Baer, Jan 1, 2006
    #9
  10. Keith Guest

    On Fri, 30 Dec 2005 05:06:47 -0800, wtxwtx wrote:

    > Hi Robert,
    > I checked USPTO and found you hold 5 patents.
    >
    > I like to listen to your advices, experiences and lessons all ears.
    >
    > Several things for me to file patents are:
    > 1. The circuits must be novel, and it will be applied in the industry
    > without doubt.
    >
    > For example, they must be dramatic advantages over current ones in one
    > of following respects: speed, performance, saving power or saving
    > logic.


    No, they don't have to show anything "dramatic" at all. A patent only has
    to show uniqueness and workability.

    > 2. The 'novel' circuit must have potential buyers to make money.


    Making mony is irrelevant to a patent, though since one has to pay money
    to get a patent, it's a good idea.

    > 3. History will keep your invention as a record and the circuit can go
    > into textbooks.


    History? Publication will prevent (in an honest world) someone else from
    patenting your idea. You'll still need a lawyer and a pile of money if
    someone else does patent your idea.

    > But basically, making money is the most important factor to file a
    > patent.


    There are many reasons to file a patent. Making money is only one.

    --
    Keith
     
    Keith, Jan 1, 2006
    #10
  11. Guest

    Hi Robert,
    Thank you for your good advice.

    Weng
     
    , Jan 1, 2006
    #11
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