(ref: this question, George White's answer)

I'm writing a software patent that includes a system and a method claim. I've heard of something called a CRM (Computer Readable Medium) claim, but am unfamiliar with the concept. Is this a real type of claim? What are the advantages/disadvantages of including a CRM claim, in addition to a system and a method claim?

I'm located in the US, by the way.

1 Answer 1


A CRM claim is also called a Beauregard claim after the 1995 case that established it as an allowed approach to organizing a claim. The goal is to make a CD (for example) siting on a shelf an infringing article of manufacture. A method claim requires execution of steps, a system claim requires hardware but a CRM claim is infringed by the media with bits on it. Not any bits, but bits that are instructions to a machine to carry out the steps of what would (if organized differently) be a patentable method claim.

In form:

A non-transient computer readable medium containing program instructions for causing a computer to perform the method of:

do step 1

do step 2

do step 3.

The "non-transent" limitation is due to a case several years ago that ruled a disembodied signal was not a "thing". The bits have to reside somewhere other that flying through the air or down a wire.

Sticking with CD's, just stamping them out would be a direct infringement of a CRM claim but not of the equivalent method claim or system claim.

  • The patent community sometimes uses "computer readable medium" to refer to signals (communications media, signal media, etc.). To avoid confusion (and the rejection under 35 USC 101), applicant can either explicitly define "computer readable media" as exclusively non-transitory media in the specification, or direct their claims to "non-transitory computer readable media", or similar. Commented May 28, 2020 at 9:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .