On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instrument, Inc., addressed the standard that Courts must use to determine whether a patent claim complies with 35 U. S. C. §112, ¶2.
A patent “claim” defines the scope of an invention. The patent law requires that a patent specification “conclude with one or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as [the] invention.” Because of the inherent difficulty in drafting patent claims, there are often times some ambiguity in a claim. In Nautilus, the Supreme Court addressed the level of permissible imperfection.
The patent in dispute involves a heart-rate monitor used with exercise equipment. The patent claims to improve on the prior art by detecting and processing ECG signals in a way that filters out EMG interference. The claim called for a “live” electrode and a “common” electrode “mounted . . . in spaced relationship with each other.”
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