0

In order to infringe on a US patent, does every step of at least one claim need to be implemented or is each step in a claim separately protected?

1

All patents define claims in their entirety. To infringe on a claim, each and every step of the claim must be implemented. If a claim has steps A, B, C and D and someone implements A, B and D, they do not infringe on the claim. Individual steps by themselves aren't protected unless there is a separate claim covering just that step. To my knowledge this is true in every country, not just the US.

Determining freedom to operate (lack of infringement) can be tricky and I encourage you to work with a patent attorney or agent.

1

It is fundamental to patents that in order to infringe a claim all elements must be present and configured as specified or, in the case of a method claim, all steps must be executed. Often the component parts of a claim are individually not new it is the claim as a whole that is novel and non-obvious and patented.

Each numbered claim in a granted patent does stand alone as something that might or might not be infringed by someone's actions. A patent is considered infringed if at least one claim is infringed.

2
  • Thank you for your answer! If I could, I would have accepted both your and Eric S's answers, but his was a few minutes earlier. Thank you for your time :-)
    – Firona
    May 1 at 9:52
  • no problem I was editing/thinking while he was posting - I have way more rep points on Ask Patents than I need.
    – George White
    May 1 at 17:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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