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Words quoted from the patent:

"Although the invention has been defined using the appended claims, these claims are exemplary in that the invention may be intended to include the elements and steps described herein in any combination or sub combination. Accordingly, there are any number of alternative combinations for defining the invention, which incorporate one or more elements from the specification, including the description, claims, and drawings, in various combinations or sub combinations. It will be apparent to those skilled in the relevant technology, in light of the present specification, that alternate combinations of aspects of the invention, either alone or in combination with one or more elements or steps defined herein, may be utilized as modifications or alterations of the invention or as part of the invention. It may be intended that the written description of the invention contained herein covers all such modifications and alterations."

http://www.google.it/patents/US7227511

Claim 1

  1. In a computer system including a host computer,

    a main display unit and a remote peripheral device having an auxiliary display unit, the remote peripheral device communicating with the host computer, a method comprising:

    providing at the remote peripheral device notification of an event received from a source application at the host computer; responsive to a first user input at the remote peripheral device,

    displaying on the auxiliary display unit information associated with the event; forming a query based upon the first user input; responsive to a second user input at the remote peripheral device,

    executing the query to cause the source application to be launched by the host computer;

    displaying on the auxiliary display unit a plurality of first soft labels representing a plurality of applications, including an application associated with the event; responsive to actuation of a first button on the remote peripheral device associated with one of the first soft labels representing the application,

    displaying on the auxiliary display unit a plurality of second soft labels, each second soft label representing a different function within the application, the second soft labels replacing the first soft labels on the auxiliary display unit; and responsive to actuation of a second button on the remote peripheral device associated with one of the second soft labels,

    executing a function within the application on the remote peripheral device, wherein the first user input includes actuation of the first button followed by actuation of the second button.

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And firthermore,doesn't this patent cover my wristwatch ( except for the small fact that there is no 'open with PC.' button )' being that my wristwatch provides an 'auxiliary read out device, that reduces clutter on the main PC workstation...?! –  Andyz Smith Jan 26 at 12:33
    
The claims are very specific. I don't think anyone's watch has all the element or does all the steps required in claim 1. –  George White Jan 26 at 20:01

1 Answer 1

This is not part of the claims. It is boilerplate wording to try to get the claims to be seen broadly with respect to the specification.

It is typical to have some sort of boilerplate language. It doesn't usually help the patentee very much. I listened to the oral arguments in an patent appeal case and, paraphrasing, a judge said to one of the attorneys "Are you asking us to give weight to language in about half of all patents that we have always ignored?"

This specific language about combining features of alternate versions can be useful. Let's say three versions of a hammer are described in detail. If a claim is broad enough to cover any of the heads on any of the handles, the applicant would hate to have some permutation of head and handle declared as something even not mentioned.

This can also help in wording of a patent that might later be used for priority in a European patent application. They can be very strict about claim amendments drawn to variations not mentioned.

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