My disclosure requires a processor.

This processor behaves like an Arduino (and in fact the prototype uses an Arduino) which is an SBC (Single-Board Computer).

The processor may just blink an LED in the Independent Claim, and ping a server in a Dependent Claim.

The processor must have I/O pins, and in fact some SBC chips like the ATTiny chips accept inputs direct to the IC!

The processor may have auxiliary modules for networking, USB, wireless, and more. Such modules provide respective hardware support for Dependent Claims. e.g. Ping a server.

Again, in fact, some SBC chips like the ATMega chips have onboard SPI, UART, and even networking right in the IC (not proximal to the CPU)!

You can see how messing up the processor claim opens the door for patent circumvention.

This question is close to mine, but not quite.

Question: What patent boilerplate for a microcontroller embodiment (not enablement) can I use without needing to claim specific hardware? I'm truly looking for a solid example of boilerplate that I can use in the Independent Claim.

Here are my attempts:

  • a processor;

  • a microcontroller;

  • a general-purpose computer;

  • a device capable of executing computer code;

  • a device which characterizes a microcontroller;

  • an arrangement of logic circuits organized to facilitate said processing;

  • a device selected from the group consisting of a microprocessor, a microcontroller, a single-board computer, a general-purpose computer, and an arrangement of logic and electrical circuits organized to facilitate said processing;

  • a processor characterized by a device selected from the group consisting of a microprocessor, a microcontroller, a single-board computer, a general-purpose computer, and an arrangement of logic and electrical circuits organized to facilitate said processing;

  • Is your attempt a single claim or alternative attempts? It isn't clear.
    – Eric S
    Oct 8, 2022 at 2:44
  • Hi, preferably in the independent claim so in a dependent claim that states some functionality differentiation I can rely on the parent claim description (and/or spec) of the processor to support this functionality. If I have to state additional hardware in a dependent claim then by differentiation rules the parent claim must not have that hardware already (or else why state additional hardware)?
    – Drakes
    Oct 8, 2022 at 3:42
  • @EricS does anything come to mind?
    – Drakes
    Oct 10, 2022 at 18:44
  • Long claims are almost always narrow. You only need to avoid a single element of a claim to avoid infringement. The more elements the easier it is to avoid infringement.
    – Eric S
    Oct 11, 2022 at 0:59
  • @EricS Agreed, but no one has requested a long claim in this question.
    – Drakes
    Oct 11, 2022 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


Claims need support from the specification (and drawings if suitable). No claim wording will remove the need to have embodiments in the specification.

The specification can and should have detail for example embodiments that do not appear in the claims.

A note - assuming this is an embedded processor application, stay as far away from “general purpose processor” as you can.

I searched for issued US patents with the words processor and memory that were granted to IBM and Apple. Looking at the more recent-

US8621594B2 9. A secure switch, comprising: a processor configured to access storage media including program instructions, executable by the processor, the program instructions including instructions to: access an agreement for secure network communication between a first entity and a second entity, the agreement


  1. A system for processing a query on a database comprising: at least one computer having a memory; a plurality of database operation processor components, with at least two of the database operation processor components having different operation processing capabilities, such that the database operation processor components provide


  1. A system comprising: a processor; a data bus coupled to the processor; a memory coupled to the data bus; and a computer-usable medium embodying


  1. A computer system, comprising: a touch screen; and a processor communicatively coupled to the touch screen, the processor configured for

The conclusion seems to be “a processor” is the most general way to say processor.

It’s the job of the specification to say it might be a microprocessor or a cpu in an ASIC or a microcontroller or a quantum computer.

  • Agreed. Details in the spec and figures. Still, if I claim “a processor” then a human may conclude it is a CPU without RAM. If I claim “microcontroller”, then a human may preclude a system-on-a-chip. That is why I am asking, with bounty, for a boilerplate phrase I can use in claims that will avoid any inadvertent preclutivity by the examiner and those that seek to design around such claims and a judge.
    – Drakes
    Oct 11, 2022 at 17:28
  • 1
    Thank you. I'm using processor for now. In the ten thousand or so words so far in the spec, I've described embodiments with logic chips, SoCs, single-board computers, and microcontrollers, including I/O and aux hardware. My goal with this question is to capture all this in a word or small phrase I may repeat over and over in the claims. Processor works for now.
    – Drakes
    Oct 13, 2022 at 3:28

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