Means-Plus-Function Clause Law and Legal Definition

Means-plus-function clause refers to a provision in a patent claim. Means-plus-function is usually found in a combination patent claim asserting that a particular design is the way to perform a given function. This clause provides means or structure in the patent to achieve a particular function. However, means-plus-function does not provide all means of achieving the same function. It is a statutory mandate on how means-plus-function clause must be construed. [Raleigh v. Tandy Corp., 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22130 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 1997)]