By Ronald Slusky
Ronald Slusky mentored dozens of attorneys in “old school” invention analysis and claiming principles over a 31-year career at Bell Laboratories. He is now in private practice in New York City. This article is adapted from his book “Invention Analysis and Claiming: A Patent Lawyer’s Guide” (American Bar Association 2007). Visit www.sluskyseminars.com for information on the two-day seminar taught by Ron based on his book. Ron can be reached at 212-246-4546 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The broad invention may have any number of features each worthy of a dependent fallback feature claim.2 And a claim may also include any number of terms each worthy of being backstopped by a dependent definition claim.3
How are all these dependent claims to be arranged?
They can all be made to depend as peers from the parent claim. Or they could be strung out in a chain, each claim depending from the next. Mix-and-match combinations are also possible. However, the number of claims required to cover all the possibilities is usually prohibitive and so choices need to be made.
FIG. 1(a) depicts a claim family in which the broad inven...