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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, and welcome to the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration to make the world a better place. We’re here in the last part of our five-part series on space and space technology, and happy Friday everybody. This is one of my favorite subjects if you couldn’t tell. I love talking about all the different great things that are happening and moving us forward, adventuring into the unknown.

Today, I want to give you a challenge. We’ve been talking all week about NASA and their website they’ve put up for all their public domain patents and non-patents, all their technology they’re pushing out to the public, saying please take this, innovate, go run with it. This URL right here shown below technologies.nasa.gov/publicdomain is a real nice search engine. You can just plug in whatever you’re working on and see if there’s some patented technology that you can just take. They’ve given it a full license to the public. It’s an unbelievable resource. I want you to go check it out, put in the comments below what you’re going to work on, how you think this is going to change your technology, how you think you’re gonna be able to run with this. Some of the publications that we have below and implement that right into your business.

Today, I want to talk about claim language. We talked about the preamble and how some language in patent claims, as in this rocket engine patent here (7,936,436 issued in 2011), we like to claim one yesterday, and we looked at the preamble and the first line after the preamble. We’ve learned about how an antecedent basis is important to making sure you have definiteness in your claim language.

Claim 14 in the same patent goes after a different style, and under 35 USC 112 F, they use what’s called a means-for-function claiming. It’s a very fascinating type of claim language; only about five to ten percent of patents go for this type of claim language. You need to structure the specification, the written description of the invention, in just the right way. You can see I’ll do my best to read it off for you, or you can read it for yourself. It says, “A first turbocharger with means for pumping fuel.” This type of language, when you say means for, in that language itself, if, as you read it, you’re actually not able to be all that clear about what it is they’re using. They’ve provided this language but haven’t defined what sort of structure they’re using, how is this actually going to do it, what are the means they’re gonna actually use to perform this pumping mechanism. In the spec, they actually have to provide at least two different types of structures that could be used interchangeably to perform this novel function. It’s by putting means-for, you’re sort of claiming multiple types of structure, different types of methods that can be used. It’s a nice way to broaden the claims, but again, it’s so rare to get issued that many patent attorneys and inventors just venture out and decide not to do it, but here, the inventor was able to get it done.

Patent claiming can be tricky and difficult to navigate through as well. So, if you have questions about patent claiming or patents in general, please get a hold of us. Our information is below at the end of this presentation, the end of the show. You’ll see our contact information there for you to book your free 30-minute consultation. It’s been my pleasure to talk with you about space this week, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’m your host J.D. Houvener, the Bold Today Show. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at https://boldip.com/contact/