The term "telecommunication" means the remote sharing of information. Since electronic means are generally used to exchange information in everyday life, telecommunications can be classified as a branch of electrical engineering. Telecommunication involves the safe and reliable transmission of information together with the protocols, networks and communication media used for this purpose. Data services offered in packet switched mode (e.g. VoIP, VOD, video conferences) are gaining in importance compared with circuit-switched data services (e.g. conventional telephony).

To obtain maximum protection for an invention, i.e. to force competitors to steer clear of it, the inventive idea should be formulated in as abstract a manner as possible. However, generalised formulation provide the patent examiner with more scope to locate relevant prior art and cite it against the application. When formulating the specification and claims an experienced attorney will therefore pay attention to the right balance between the scope of protection on the one hand and the prospects of the patent being granted on the other. Introducing a number of generalisations somewhere in between the general idea and the practical embodiment of the idea (fall-back scenarios, as they are called) will ensure that the patent application is granted with the largest possible scope of protection.