“What does ‘means’ mean?”

Four lectures today: 112, 6th paragraph, introduction to prior art, classification, and the application filing process.

35 USC 112, 6th paragraph covers the language used for “means-for” and “step by” claims, and how those are handled when we come across them.

The introduction to prior art was really just an introduction to 102 and 103 issues.  That is, finding art that applies to the whole or part of a claim and/or finding obvious combinations of art.

Classification was just an overview of how classes and subclasses are laid out, so we have an idea how to classify allowances that we’ll (one day) make.

Application filing dealt with some of the details of how applications have to be filed (150 words maximum for the abstract, filed in English or a foreign language if certain conditions are met, etc).

A new group of cadets (are we cadets? academy-goers? novices?) started yesterday, and are going to have their first interview with an attorney tomorrow.

So, new junior examiners, by week three you will have covered: 101, 112 1st, 2nd, and 6th, and begun to learn about 102 and 103.  All those mysteries from the first two days will be revealed to you in all their glory! Well, maybe not.  But take heart, the statutes will start to make more sense soon.

Note: I am exhausted, so I will fill in details tomorrow.


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