Lithosphere has taken a unique approach when analyzing prior art against claim limitations. Instead of analyzing the prior art against an entire claim limitation, each claim limitation is broken down into discrete claim limitation segments referred to as "concepts." Each concept represents a discrete segment of a claim limitation. Using this approach, the prior art analysis is more focused because claim limitations often include multiple discrete segments that may or may not be disclosed in a particular reference.
The "concepts" used throughout a case or project are defined using the Administration portal. These concepts can be changed throughout the case.
After the concepts are defined, they appear in the Analysis portal. For each concept, quoted text from a prior art reference can be entered into a concept box. A simple click adds another concept box.
Because a reference can disclose a concept more than once, any concept can support mutiple instances of a concept being disclosed for a given reference. The concept field can also include an image, such as a table or figure, or some other image extracted from a prior art reference.×
For each quoted text entry for a "concept," a corresponding citation can be entered into an adjacent citation box.
The text entry field can be configured to indicate the appropriate citation format for patents or publications so that citations entered by various users will conform to a standard format.
The citation field is an additional data field, distinct from the concept field, to separate the reference text from the citation and provide the option of generating a chart that includes only citations. In certain situations, it may be appropriate to generate an invalidity chart containing only citations and no prior art text.×
As shown above, the information entered into the system is the same information that would be entered into a traditional invalidity chart. Instead of entering the information into a table in a static MS Word document, the information is retained in a database.
As a further example, consider the following claim limitation: a remote control comprising an IR emitter and an RF transceiver. The claim limitation requires a remote control that includes both IR and RF functionality. In this simple example, there are two discrete concepts for the claim limitation: 1) remote control:IR and 2) remote control:RF. By using the "concept" approach for analysis, the system can catalog references disclosing either an IR emitter, an RF transceiver, or both an IR emitter and an RF transceiver. In contrast, if the system did not allow for discrete concept analysis, but rather only a claim limitation level analysis, only references disclosing both the IR and RF functionality could be cataloged by the system.
More importantly, if a dependent claim further specified an operating frequency range for the RF transceiver, PatDek would catalog references disclosing that frequency range using a frequency range concept. This modular approach to analysis allows a reviewer to focus on all that a reference discloses.