I'm writing a system claim, and I'd like to get some feedback on an obfuscated version of it. Please don't reserve your criticism! I'm interested in learning from the best. Why am I off base? Why am I correct?

What is claimed is:

  1. A system for controlling the operation of software installed on multiple portable devices, said system comprising:

    an ability to decode and process XXXXX stored within YYYYY;

    an ability to associate said XXXXX with a unique user of said software;

    an ability to associate said XXXXX with a unique geographical location;

    an ability to record ZZZZZ at said unique geographical location;

    a limitation that said software must be facilitating the business operation of a AAAAA.

1 Answer 1


One way to form a system claim is by saying it includes hardware and the hardware performs the following steps a), b) and c). The steps then look like the steps in a method claim. So a method claim can usually be turned into a system claim by putting "A system for doing X, the system comprising: a computing system including a processor configured to performing the following:" in front of the list of steps. In your case you would have a global "configured to" and then just list actions "decoding; processing; associating; . . . ; recording . . . "

Note "configured to" - these are not quite magic words but use them. They mean the system is built to do the steps. "An ability to", or "capable of" are not read that way. A hammer is configured to be used to hit in nails while an iPad has an ability to be used to hit nails.

Another approach to a system claim is to talk about what it has rather than what it does. "A first module configured to take its input and separate it into a left output stream and a right output stream, a second module coupled to the left stream output of the first module that removes all odd numbers ... ". Even though the modules may or may not be defined in terms of steps they do, the overall framework is a listing of modules, defining what they do and how they interact. This is much the way a mechanical system might be claimed. "A transmission coupled to a drive train ... ."

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