Minneapolis patent attorney Mark Stignani defines claim abstraction theory.
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What is claim abstraction theory? Claim abstraction theory is really the concept of evaluating patent claims and their limitations and drawing inferences that those limitations are also present in a number of other patents.
Now, why do we do that? Well, in patent law to infringe a claim you have to actually infringe each and every element of a claim. So when we do claim abstraction we look for the commonalities of those limitations across a great number of patents and attempt to, you know, put together abstractions that help us knock out patents.
Now, we do this under what we call the All Elements Rule of Infringement, so for instance, if a claim limitation is not present in an infringing device it does not infringe and we do the same thing here when we’re doing claim abstract. So if I can abstract something that will knock out a great number of patents and this is a very speedy way of looking at knocking out patents and you’re really rarifying the set of patents for analysis and further review.