By: Ashley Sloat, Ph.D., President of Aurora Consulting LLC
Let’s start this post by my confessing that I love the Oxford comma and am therefore a bit biased. BUT, this article is just too good to not post – plus I think it has a good message for patent drafters out there. This Maine appeals court case hinged on the presence or absence of the Oxford comma (also referred to as a serial comma). The appeals court decided that the absence of the Oxford comma left too much ambiguity in the interpretation of Maine’s overtime laws resulting in the delivery drivers of Oakhurst Dairy finally receiving their long overdue overtime pay. See the article here.
What does this mean for patent drafting? If you don’t want your descriptions or lists to be considered too ambiguous or indefinite for reasonable interpretation, consider adding the Oxford comma back into your drafting repertoire!