0
  • Why does "embodiment" seem now to be so favored by patent attorneys over the term "invention"?

CONTEXT: On a recent provisional, I had an experienced attorney consulting pro bono and the first thing they did was remove invention entirely from the application, favoring "method" or "embodiment". But I was using a mill for low-cost formatting, and the first thing they did was change all of the "embodiment" instances back to "invention". Mills area only suitable for provisionals, but I found it interesting they seemed to be so behind the times.

2

I can't speak for patent attorneys since I'm not one, but in my mind the words "invention" and "embodiment" aren't synonyms. An embodiment is a particular way of implementing the invention. When a patent gets drafted, there is usually a preferred embodiment and several alternative embodiments. The idea is to make it harder for others to design around the specific implementation to get the equivalent result.

1

As a former patent attorney, I recall routinely including terminology referring to "these and other embodiments of the disclosed invention..." as a way to help a reader more clearly focus on the fact that only the CLAIMS in a patent have any legal weight. A potential infringer cannot avoid liability by simply implementing "another embodiment" of the claimed invention that happens to be different from any described in the specification.

Also, if it's a U.S.A. design patent, you can only claim one invention, same as with utility patents, but you might illustrate multiple embodiments in the figures for somewhat broader coverage for obvious variations.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.