A definition in the patent’s specification can be critical in defining the scope of the claims. According to the patent statute, the claims and specification are directed to a person of ordinary skill in the art, but it is important to remember that the person construing the patent’s claims — typically a Patent Examiner or a Federal District Judge — is usually not a person of ordinary skill in the art. Thus a readily understood, non-technical definition may better serve the inventor’s purposes. Moreover, a simple example may more clearly define the term than any definition. Such is the case in the Yogi Bear inspired examples of the definitions of “or” and “and” in U.S. Patent No. 9,607,066:
These examples make the meaning of the terms clear, in language that can be readily understood by anyone.