Micro Systems Technology

Micro systems technology incorporates elements from the traditional fields of engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering as well as of applied physics. It focuses primarily on microelectronics, micromechanics, microfluidics and microoptics, merging them into new systems in which there is interaction between sensors, actuators and data processors. Micro systems technology has functional elements measured in micrometers. This distinguishes it from nanotechnology, a related field based on elements with even smaller dimensions.

A patent that has been granted only makes sense if it bars competitors from the freedom to operate around it. The scope of protection provided by the granted patent claims is of crucial importance in patent infringement proceedings. To obtain optimum protection for an invention the inventive idea must be formulated in as abstract a manner as possible. However, such a formulation may give the examiner greater scope to identify relevant prior art and cite it against the application. An experienced attorney will therefore take great care in finding the right balance between the scope of protection on the one hand, and the prospects of a patent being granted on the other when drafting the patent specification and claims. Introducing a number of generalisations that lie halfway between the general idea and the practical embodiment of the idea (fall-back scenarios) will ensure that the patent is granted with the largest possible scope of protection.