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(ref: this question, George White's answer)

I'm writing a software patent that includes a system and a method claim. I've heard of something called a CRM (Computer Readable Medium) claim, but am unfamiliar with the concept. Is this a real type of claim? What are the advantages/disadvantages of including a CRM claim, in addition to a system and a method claim?

I'm located in the US, by the way.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

A CRM claim is also called a Beauregard claim after the 1995 case that established it as an allowed approach to organizing a claim. The goal is to make a CD (for example) siting on a shelf an infringing article of manufacture. A method claim requires execution of steps, a system claim requires hardware but a CRM claim is infringed by the media with bits on it. Not any bits, but bits that are instructions to a machine to carry out the steps of what would (if organized differently) be a patentable method claim.

In form:

A non-transient computer readable medium containing program instructions for causing a computer to perform the method of:

do step 1

do step 2

do step 3.

The "non-transent" limitation is due to a case several years ago that ruled a disembodied signal was not a "thing". The bits have to reside somewhere other that flying through the air or down a wire.

Sticking with CD's, just stamping them out would be a direct infringement of a CRM claim but not of the equivalent method claim or system claim.

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