Functional Claiming - What is "Structure" and Why is it Important?
A functional claim limitation describes an invention in terms of what it does, rather than describing its structural components. Functional language may also be employed to limit the claims without using the means-plus-function format. Unlike means-plus-function claim language that applies only to purely functional limitations, functional claiming often involves the recitation of some structure followed by its function. The U.S. patent statute (35 U.S.C. Section 112(6), pre-AIA; Section 112(f) post-AIA) allows a claim draf