Coatings, Layers, and Substrates - Different Yet The Same At The PTAB

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Patent professionals often face challenges in securing broad and precise protection for their clients' innovations due to the USPTO's broad interpretation of terms like "substrate," "coating," and "layer." This blog post explores how examiners use the broadest reasonable interpretation to encompass a range of possibilities, sometimes beyond what inventors expect. Two recent cases from the PTAB illustrate the implications of this broad interpretation. Practitioners should be precise in terminology, strategically define terms in the specification, and include fallback positions to address potential broad interpretations.

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