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 Claims question 
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Joined: 2013-11-16 23:20:34
Posts: 1
Hello,

I have heard that in order to infringe a method claim, the infringer has to do all of the steps of the method. But what if I have a method A, and it has 5 steps, and in order to do A better someone can also do an additional submethod B which has 2 steps. Can the method and submethod be in one patent? If they are, does the infringer have to do both in order to infringe? Or are 2 patents needed?

Thanks.


2013-11-16 23:23:55
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Joined: 2011-12-26 16:53:41
Posts: 117
Cpx wrote:
I have heard that in order to infringe a method claim, the infringer has to do all of the steps of the method.


Correct.

Cpx wrote:
Hello,
I have heard that in order to infringe a method claim, the infringer has to do all of the steps of the method. But what if I have a method A, and it has 5 steps, and in order to do A better someone can also do an additional submethod B which has 2 steps. Can the method and submethod be in one patent?
...Or are 2 patents needed?


Generally, yes. You can have many claims in a single patent, as long as they're directed to the same "invention" (a legal term). Your characterization of B as "submethod of A suggests that A and B are directed to the same invention, and thus ok in a single patent.


Cpx wrote:
Hello,
If they are, does the infringer have to do both in order to infringe?


Suppose you have two claims, one to A = 5 steps, and one to A+B = 7 steps.

Then an infringer who does only A infringes the first claim but not the second. An infringer that does A+B infringes the second. So liability for infringement in either case.

There might be differences in damages, so that it's less costly to infringe one claim as compared to another.

_________________
Karen Hazzah
Patent Prosecution blog "All Things Pros" http://allthingspros.blogspot.com/

The opinions expressed on this message board are mine and do not represent the views of my law firm, colleagues, or clients. My writings on this board are not legal advice and are offered for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created by my writings on this board.


2013-12-19 14:39:40
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