4. Claim 1 of an application recites “[a]n article comprising: (a) a copper substrate; and (b) a electrically insulating layer on said substrate.” The specification defines the term “copper” as being elemental copper or copper alloys. In accordance with the patent laws, rules and procedures as related in the MPEP, for purposes of searching and examining the claim, the examiner should interpret the term “copper” in the claim as reading on:
(A) Elemental copper only, based on the plain meaning of “copper.”
(B) Copper alloys only, based on the special definition in the specification.
(C) Elemental copper and copper alloys, based on the special definition in the specification.
(D) Any material that contains copper, including copper compounds.
(E) None of the above.
4. ANSWER: (C) is the most correct answer. When the specification expressly provides a special definition for a term used in the claims, the term must be given that special meaning. See MPEP § 2111.01. (A) is incorrect because a term is given its plain meaning only when the specification does not provide a definition for the term. Id. (B) is incorrect because the specification defines the term as being inclusive of elemental copper. See MPEP § 2111.01. (D) is incorrect because it does not take into account the definition of copper found in the specification. See MPEP § 2111.01.