Functional Claiming Under U.S. Patent Law

Shane Sondreal, Attorney at Law, Crawford Maunu PLLC, USA
Braden Katterheinrich, Senior Patent Attorney, Seagate Technology, USA
Eric Curtin, Attorney at Law, Crawford Maunu PLLC, USA

Functional claim limitations can be useful for providing robust patent coverage, protecting what has been invented as well as variations therein. Patents employing such limitations can be useful for developing a portfolio that carves out a significant patent landscape, protecting one’s intellectual property and providing a strong negotiation position for both licensing and litigation purposes. Under U.S. law, uncertainty surrounding functional claim limitations has generated tension due to seemingly contradictory positions taken by both the courts and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). These considerations are applicable to a variety of technologies, and are particularly interesting for computer-implemented inventions.

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USA Intellectual Property Industry August 2015 Vol. 8, No. 32, Summer 2015

Shane Sondreal

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Shane Sondreal is a patents attorney at Crawford Maunu. His respective practice includes the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in multiple fields, litigation, and client counseling.

Braden Katterheinrich

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Braden Katterheinrich is a senior patent attorney at Seagate Technology where he enjoys counseling clients on IP, agreement, and risk-mitigation strategies.

Eric Curtin

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Eric Curtin is a patents attorney at Crawford Maunu. His respective practice includes the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in multiple fields, litigation, and client counseling. Eric also assists clients in the procurement of trademark

Seagate Technology

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Seagate is the global leader in data storage solutions, developing products that enable people and businesses around the world to create, share and preserve their most critical memories and business data.

Crawford Maunu PLLC

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Crawford Maunu is an intellectual property law firm in the Minneapolis, Minnesota region, which assists clients from coast-to-coast and around the world in patent, trademark and copyright protection, including the preparation and prosecution of patent and

USA Intellectual Property Industry August 2015 Vol. 8, No. 32, Summer 2015