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a tool, comprising: an X, having an X 1 edge, an X 2 edge, an X first face, an X-second face, an X distal end, an X proximal end attachable to a handle; and a Z guide marking on the X first face that is relative to a line parallel to the X 1 edge.

The legal writings speak so much of the semicolons it makes me afraid of commas. What is the effect of using commas in this example? It seemed appropriate for commas because it was a description of X as opposed to separate elements. How does that change the limits of the claim? Would semicolons instead be better or wrong? Note, I did use a semicolon before the and. :)

Also, If I left out the X 2 edge from this list using commas, does that mean there is no X 2 edge, or can I still describe an X 2 edge in the specification?

Are there any other issues with the claim?

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a tool, comprising: an X, having an X 1 edge, an X 2 edge, an X first face, an X-second face, an X distal end, an X proximal end attachable to a handle; and a Z guide marking on the X first face that is relative to a line parallel to the X 1 edge.

The semicolon is not separating a second element. The tool only has one element, an X. Every thing else is defining what an X is. Therefore I would change the semicolon to a comma. A more important issue with the claim is that, in my opinion, it may be indefinite since we do not know what "relative to" means. It is aligned with, just above, just below, to the left, to the right, etc. of the a line parallel to the X1 edge? Unless it is an actual printed line, "parallel to the X1 edge" is equivalent and clearer. If the X1 edge is not straight, then "a line parallel to" it is indefinite, it is is straight, the "line" construct is not needed.

Separately, whatever the Z-guide is, your claim requires it - that means that if someone made a tool that otherwise fit your claim but did not have that mark, it would not infringe. It might be a good idea to look up printed matter in Wikipedia.

As for the secind question, leaving something out of a claim does not mean it might not be present, it means it doesn't need to be present in order to infringe. If this is your broadest claim only include things you need to achieve patentablity. Other things can be added in dependent claims.

I assume this claim goes on to define what the various edges and faces are and how they relate to each other, otherwise it is very indefinite.

  • The Z guide marking is a separate element from the X. It is a mark on X. – Pro Se Hole Dec 1 at 23:13
  • Thank you. The Z guide marking is meant to be a separate element from the X, as it is a guide mark on X. I see what you mean on the relative part. What if Z is a guide marking on X that delineates an angle relative to a line parallel to the X 1 edge? – Pro Se Hole Dec 1 at 23:23
  • It is clear that the z-guide is some kind of marking - it is not clear if by "line" you mean a visible line or an abstraction of an orientation. – George White Dec 1 at 23:28
  • Saying there is a particular mark on X is really just a further description of X, to me. See my edited answer about the issue of including the mark in the claim. – George White Dec 1 at 23:34
  • Yes, sir, I should have perhaps said a geometric construction line, as it is not an actual line. Then I should also clarify that in the detailed description, that it is not an actual line. – Pro Se Hole Dec 1 at 23:44

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