Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Written Description Requirement: Genus/Species Claims (Part Three of Three)

By Stephen C. Hall

This is the third and final post of a three-part series on written description requirements and the developing case law under the America Invents Act (AIA).

“Genus”: a class, kind, or group marked by a common characteristic(s)
“Species”: a logical subdivision of a genus marked by a specific attribute

gear to successTaxonomy (classifying things according to genus and species) also has a parallel in patent law. A patentee may use narrow species claims to distinguish against prior art, while at the same time seeking the broadest possible “right to exclude” with a genus claim(s). But there are trade-offs. First, the Patent Office can reject a broad genus claim if only one member of the genus was known in the art. Second, the patentee must provide a level of description proportional to the scope of the claim. In litigation, defendants accused of Continue reading The Written Description Requirement: Genus/Species Claims (Part Three of Three)