Interpreting Functional Language In Apparatus Claims

Law360, New York (July 28, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit recently issued a significant decision on the interpretation of functional language in apparatus patent claims in Microprocessor Enhancement Corp. v. TI, 520 F.3d 1367 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

Functional language is a convenient and concise way of claiming complicated structural elements that together perform a function, particularly in electrical technologies.

For example, rather than claiming dozens of electrical components coupled to one another in a way that demodulates a radio signal, one can simply claim “a circuit for demodulating a radio signal.” Microprocessor Enhancement...
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