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March 01, 2023


I jump in early, from Europe, in the hope of prompting useful comments in reply. The "abstract idea" litmus test is problematic but so too are "parameter claims" in general.

Thus here. The skilled person knew the relationship between the recited material properties and drilling performance. Further, the skilled person knew that increasing the sintering pressure would improve these performance-relevant material properties. So, when the contribution to the art is the use of a higher sintering pressure, don't claim simply that. Instead claim the resulting product, defined by its material properties. That's an idea in the mind of the patent attorney. I wouldn't call it "abstract" though.

Pity that, here, there isn't a patent family member at the EPO, for comparison what objections to patentability would have been raised.

Regularly assessing the alloy claims of the competitors of my metal industry client leaves me weary and cynical about such "parameter claims", which are hard for a Patent Office to filter out, ex Parte, with the classic tools of 102, 103 and 112 . They need to be filtered out, but how shall a poor beleagured Patent Office, under the cosh of efficiency-seeking management, do it effectively?

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