Read a Patent Claim
Can You Read This Patent Claim?
1. A method used in model predictive control
applications for removing the effect of unmeasured disturbances from the
dynamics of a controller model of a process having a plurality of
independently controllable, manipulated variables and at least one
controlled variable dependent upon said independently controllable,
manipulated variables comprising the steps of:
data about said process by separately introducing a test disturbance in each of
said manipulated variables and measuring the effect of the disturbances on said
said effects of the disturbances on said controlled variable to generate a
first linearized dynamic model relating said at least one controlled variable
to said independently controllable, manipulated variables;
c. interchanging selected valve position controlled variables with their
corresponding selected independently controllable, manipulated PID controller
set point variables in said first linearized dynamic model using matrix row
elimination mathematics to generate a second linearized dynamic model that has
a new set of independently controllable, manipulated variables, said second
linearized dynamic model having the dynamics of said selected independently
controllable, manipulated PID controller set point variables removed from said
second dynamic model.
So How Do You Read a Patent Claim?
How do you read a patent claim? Does this one
make any sense to you?
Many people picking up a patent to read a patent
claim would think it was gibberish. Partly because the technology is something
they do not understand - partly because they are not aware of how claims are
Well - I will plainly admit that many claims I read for the first time seem like gibberish.
But if you know how all claims are structured
you can start to see what it might mean. So let's analyze it and after you
understand it you can probably read any claim.
The Structure of Patent Claims
Here is a helpful guide on how to read a claim
- any claim. Claims usually have a structure of:
A transition phrase
A list of elements
In this case the preamble is:
"A method used in model predictive control applications for removing the effect of unmeasured disturbances from the dynamics of a controller model of a process having a plurality of independently controllable, manipulated variables and at least one controlled variable dependent upon said independently controllable, manipulated variables"
and the transition phrase is:
"comprising the steps of: "
Followed by the three elements (a), (b), and (c).
The preamble describes the field of the
invention. The transition phrase "comprising" (or "comprising the steps of") is found on the great
majority of patents. Think of it's meaning as "including at least".
Thus the invention may include many things but it includes at least the
following things - and those things are the three elements (a), (b), and (c).
So this particular patent claim contains a least
these 3 elements - an invention can have many other things but if does not have
these 3 it is not covered by this claim.
This leads to a concept in patent infringement
law. It is called the all elements rule. If anyone tries to practice in this
field - they will only infringe this claim if they practice each and every one
of the three elements. If they do not practice element 2 as it is written then
they are not infringing.
A Note of Warning
The above explanation is a very big
simplification of claim structure. It is meant to help you to read a patent
claim. And it is true - examiners expect claims to be structured this way and
patent agents and attorneys write them this way. So you should now be able to
apply these simple principles in reading any patent.
But if you are facing a business situation in
which you are concerned about the possibility of infringing a claim - get a
specialist to analyze it for you. And not just the one patent you have found. A
through search must be done for any patent that might have dangerous claims.
Investing a little money in a freedom to operate analysis is a small insurance