Monday, April 04, 2011

Reference numbers for drawings in patent applications

AllThingsPros wonders if including reference numbers in a claim can narrow claim scope?

Apple in US published application 20110078624 titled Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Manipulating Workspace Views apparently forgot to include some reference numbers in its specification in the initial filing (eg, 5004 in paragraph 114).

Of this application, ZDNet noted: A new Apple patent filing points at an interesting prospect for productivity hounds on the iPad: bringing the multi-desktop Spaces feature found in Mac OS X to the realm of the touchscreen tablet.

A comment at allthingspros:

The case you're thinking of is Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc. v. Avia Group Int'l, 222 F.3d 951, 956, 55 USPQ2d 1487, 1491 (Fed. Cir. 2000) "[I]t is well established that patent drawings do not define the precise proportions of the elements and may not be relied on to show particular sizes if the specification is completely silent on the issue."


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