I am wondering if I should explicitly refer to processor in software method claims, like "...comprising executing on a processor the steps of..." or it is enough to say "computer-implemented method" to cover processor, storage, memory, input/output etc.

2 Answers 2


Assuming this is in the U.S., start with only "a computer implemented method" because it's broader than reciting that a processor performs the steps. Better yet, simply recite "a method" (which is broadest) and then wait until examination to make any further limitations. The Examiner may or may not require further limitations.

  • You can run into trouble claiming a processor in a system claim, as it will likely be rejected by an examiner, unless there's something limiting the processor physically. In the case of a method claim, you could suggest using a processor in the method, but you run the risk of limiting your method claim doing so.
    – nhunsaker
    Mar 1, 2017 at 2:10

Firstly it depends on your definition defined in specification and limitations associated with it. Based on State of the Art and judicial claim construction i believe "computer-implemented method" have broader interpretation and careful drafting of dependent claims and specification will cover all your objects 'processor, storage, memory, input/output etc.' alternatively You can use preamble 'A Method'.

In Atser Research Technologies, Inc. v. Raba-Kistner Consultants Inc., et al., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25294 (W.D. Tex., Feb. 27, 2009). It was stated that "computer-implemented method" will cover steps performed using a computer, which include processor and other peripherals.

On the other hand 'executing on processor steps' will cover all steps performed in processor only. You can improve processor definition or phrase as such by including all component used in steps.

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