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I have an Idea/Potential Patent, but someone else has a similar patent out. Our inventions are substantially different in design. One of their claims is very very general and seems to exclude an entire market. Are you allowed to list a non-descriptive function of your product as a claim? For example, here's a similar claim if their invention were a solar panel:

Any device using silicone technology to generate power for electronic consumption.

Is this type of sweeping claim valid? Do I have a new patent if I use a new and different type of silicone technology?

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Are you sure that it is a granted patent and not just the publication of an application for a patent? –  George White Aug 24 at 21:20
Assuming your example is just an example, there would be plenty prior art for solar panels for such a claim to stand (they have been used on satellites since the 60 ties) -- and hence only a novel enhancement to solar panels could be patented. Your question is lacking a patent reference number and without one nobody would be able to discuss this matter. –  Soren Aug 26 at 12:33

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