USPTO Approves of And/Or Claim Limitation

By Dennis Crouch

Ex Parte Gross (PTAB 2014)

Patent attorney J. Nicholas Gross has a number of his own patents pending. Application No. 11/565,411 is directed to a computerized business method of serving content appropriate advertisement.

Claim 1 requires a “plurality of different websites characterized by a common parameter including at least one of a common content topic and/or a common contractual arrangement.”

The examiner rejected claim 1 as indefinite based upon the “and/or” term. On appeal, however, the PTAB reversed – finding that “A and/or B” does have a meaning and that meaning is A alone, B alone, or A and B together. However, the Board noted the “preferred verbiage” should be more simply “at least one of A and B.”

The biggest problem with the Board’s decision is that it was four-years in the making – reversing an examiner rejection mailed February 2, 2010.

About Dennis Crouch

Law Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship.