Wednesday, July 03, 2013

On the meaning of "a"

from Ex parte Gatto

The Federal Circuit has repeatedly emphasized that, as a general rule, when an indefinite
article, such as “a,” is used with a term in an open-ended claim containing
the transitional phrase “comprising,” the article is properly construed to
mean “one or more.” See, e.g., Tate Access Floors, Inc. v. Interface
Architectural Res., Inc., 279 F.3d 1357, 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (“It is well
settled that the term ‘a’ or ‘an’ ordinarily means ‘one or more.”’); KCJ Corp.
v. Kinetic Concepts, Inc., 223 F.3d 1351, 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2000).


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