Abstract
This paper discusses the semiotic dimension of patent interpretation. Patent documents are at the same time disclosure of information and a granting of rights. The claim section expresses the granted rights. In this paper, we view the claims as signs that express the granted rights. The semantics to interpret the signs is given by the all-elements rule, as pragmatics. The description and drawings sections of the patent document provide metapragmatics in the form of lexicon and syntax to help the understanding the claims as signs that express the granted rights. This semiotic approach for patent interpretation has important practical consequences to the correct structuring of a patent document. We highlight this contribution through an instance of a patent application in which a claim includes examples of use. Examples are not allowed in the claim text, as examples do not describe the invention, but consist of metapragmatics to better understand the invention. In this way, examples consist of metapragmatics and belong to the description section of the patent, which has the goal to facilitate the understanding of claims. In the patent application used to highlight our semiotics approach for patent interpretation, the examples initially presented in the claims were rephrased in the final granted patent, significantly reducing the scope of the claim.
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DOI 10.1007/s11196-018-9599-0
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References found in this work BETA

Foundations of the Theory of Signs.Charles W. Morris - 1938 - University of Chicago Press Cambridge University Press.
Pragmatics.Stephen C. Levinson - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
A Theory of Semiotics.Umberto Eco - 1977 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 10 (3):214-216.
A Theory of Semiotics.Robert Scholes - 1977 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 35 (4):476-478.
Peirce's Approach to the Self: A Semiotic Perspective on Human Subjectivity.Vincent M. Colapietro - 1989 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 25 (4):549-557.

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