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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1434918
 
 

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The Unreasonableness of the Patent Office's 'Broadest Reasonable Interpretation' Standard


Dawn-Marie Bey


Bey & Cotropia PLLC

Christopher Anthony Cotropia


University of Richmond School of Law

July 16, 2009

American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2009

Abstract:     
Although there has been much commentary on patent claim interpretation methodology in general, very little has been written about the unique interpretation approach the Patent Office employs. The courts, starting with the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and continuing with the Federal Circuit, instruct the Patent Office to give every applied-for claim its 'broadest reasonable interpretation' (BRI) during patent examination. This Article explores this special standard and concludes that not only are the previously articulated rationales behind the BRI standard severely lacking, the standard is also contrary to both the patent statutes and the concept of a unitary patent system. The BRI standard additionally allows patent examiners to avoid difficult claim interpretation issues, leads to improper and uncorrectable denials of patent protection, and is incurably ambiguous.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: patent, PTO, USPTO, patent office, claim interpretation, claim construction

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Date posted: July 16, 2009 ; Last revised: December 17, 2009

Suggested Citation

Bey, Dawn-Marie and Cotropia, Christopher Anthony, The Unreasonableness of the Patent Office's 'Broadest Reasonable Interpretation' Standard (July 16, 2009). American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1434918

Contact Information

Dawn-Marie Bey
Bey & Cotropia PLLC ( email )
213 Bayly Court
Richmond, VA 23229
United States
HOME PAGE: http://beycotropia.com/
Christopher Anthony Cotropia (Contact Author)
University of Richmond School of Law ( email )
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States
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