Article suggestion: Boilerplate

It might make for an interesting article to take on the subject of boilerplate language in patent applications. It would be particularly interesting to trace how the SCOTUS and CCPA/CAFC have treated boilerplate language throughout history. Moreover, how has the law of contracts treated boilerplate and is there any cross-over to patent law. During oral arguments, judges will sometimes say “well isn’t that just boilerplate” when referring to a party’s reliance on a portion of a specification. Why should that matter? The inventor chose to include it in the patent application and the PTO approved it before issuing the patent. What principle of law states that certain portions of a patent document should be given less significance than others? If there is such a distinction, what is the test for whether text is “boilerplate.”

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