“Means” Limitations

  • Harold C. Wegner


Uniquely in United States practice, an element in a claim may be recited not in terms of the struture, but in terms of a “means”. Claim 10 in the Pennwalt patent in Pennwalt Corp. v. Durand-Wayland, Inc 833 F.2d 931, 4 USPQ2d 1737 (Fed. Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 108 S. Ct. 1226 and 1474 (1988) (in banc), is one example of a claim with multiple “means” limitations. (Claim 10 is reproduced in the discussion of the Pennwalt case that is found in § 332 (“Pennwalt ’All Elements’ Rule”).)


Patent Office Patent Claim Foreign Patent Claim Form Foreign Practice 
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© Harold C. Wegner 1992

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  • Harold C. Wegner

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