先行詞の欠如 ~at the separation~


“Supplementary Examination Guidelines for Determining Compliance with 35 U.S.C. §112 and for Treatment of Related Issues in Patent Applications” (Feb. 9, 2011)

In re Skvorecz (Fed. Cir. 2009)

代表的なクレーム:

1. A wire chafing stand comprising an upper rim of wire steel which forms a closed geometrical configuration circumscribing a first surface area, a lower rim of wire steel forming a closed geometrical configuration circumscribing a second surface area with said first surface area being larger than said second surface area and having a plurality of wire legs with each wire leg having two upright sections interconnected to one another at a location below the lower rim in a configuration forming a base support for the stand to rest upon with each upright section extending upwardly from said base support to form an angle equal to or greater than 90° with respect to a horizontal plane through said base support and being affixed to the upper rim adjacent one end thereof and to said lower rim at a relatively equal distance below the point of attachment to said upper rim and further comprising a plurality of offsets located either in said upright sections of said wire legs or in said upper rim for laterally displacing each wire leg relative to said upper rim to facilitate the nesting of a multiplicity of stands into one another without significant wedging.

5. A wire chafing stand as defined in claim 1 wherein said plurality of offsets are welded to said wire legs at the separation of the upright sections into segments.

United States Patent 5996948 (http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5996948.html)

分析:
裁判所は、“at the separation”を“at a separation”と補正すれば、クレーム5は35 U.S.C. §112¶2に基づく不明確にはならないと判断し、不明確としたBPAIの審決を覆した。裁判所は、“welded to said wire legs at the separation”について、当業者であれば明細書を参照してこの限定を理解できるため、クレーム1に新たに先行詞を加える必要はない、と述べた。

MPEP 2173.05(e) “LACK OF ANTECEDENT BASIS”参照


カテゴリ: 日英知財研究

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