QUESTION: In a patent application, does “comprises a pulley” protect against multiple pulleys? In the claim section, e.g. a device comprises A, B, and a pulley which is mounted on… In the spec section: In an embodiment, the device has A, B, and 1 pulley, however, in another embodiment, the device has A, B, and more than 1 pulley. Is it ok use “comprises a pulley” in the claim or should I use “comprises at least one pulley”? If someone make a device with A, B, and multiple pulleys, does “comprises a pulley” protect my patent?
ANSWER: Yes, “comprises a pulley” would include multiple pulleys. The word “comprises” in a patent means the minimum existence of something. For example, “comprises a pulley” means there is at least one pulley, but there can be more.