The word "comprising" in a claim renders the claim open, which means that additional elements could be added to the accused infringing device without avoiding infringement. For example, if a claim stated that a chair had three legs and employed the word "comprising," a chair having four legs would infringe. At the other end of the spectrum is a closed claim, which uses the expression "consisting of." This means that in a product alleged to infringe, if meaningful additional elements are added to the features recited in a claim there is no infringement. These types of claims frequently appear in the chemical and metallurgical arts. There is an intermediate scope of claim that uses the expression "consisting essentially of" and means that some additional components may be employed in the allegedly infringing product without avoiding infringement.
A transitional phrase used in claims that means including, containing, characterized by. The term is inclusive or open-ended and does not exclude additional, unrecited elements or steps. MPEP 2111.03.
- Browse Related Terms: active inducement to infringe, claim(s), Colorable Deviation, Comprising, contributory infringement, copying, Direct Infringement, doctrine of equivalence, doctrine of equivalents, equivalents - reverse doctrine of, Infrastructure, Infringed Literally, infringement, Infringement By Equivalents, Infringement Under Doctrine of Equivalents, Literal Infringement, notice (also marking), Product By Process Claim, prosecution history estoppel, search, that which infringes if later, anticipates if earlier
Also listed in: