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68 Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society 246 (1986)


This article briefly explains how the scope of a claim including a means expression is determined both under the PTO view and a strict application of the statutory language. The lack of consensus and current state of the law in the area are illustrated through an analysis of several recent decisions of the Federal Circuit. The policies underlying the PTO and statutory methods of interpreting means expressions during prosecution are examined in an effort to demonstrate that the statutory method more effectively furthers the policies underlying the patent system.