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” published by the American Bar Association. For information on Ron’s two-day seminar based on his book, visit www.sluskyseminars.com. Ron can be reached at 212-246-4546 and email@example.com.
A recurring theme in these columns is the central role of the problem-solution statement in analyzing an invention to uncover its breadth.
Consider, for example, the coffee maker shown in FIG. 1.2 When the carafe is not in place, a valve in the coffee basket prevents liquid from dripping out of the brew basket onto the burner or countertop. Sliding the carafe into place pushes up on a pin, which opens the valve and allows coffee to flow. If the carafe is removed, the valve is again closed.
A problem-solution statement for this invention is as follows: