Federal Circuit Explained that Introduction of “A” Claim Element Followed by Recitation of “Said” Characteristics of that Element, Requires at Least One Element Having all of the Recited Characteristics

The Federal Circuit, in Salazar v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 21-2320 (Fed. Cir. 2023), held “a microprocessor” capable of “said” functions to require at least one single microprocessor capable of performing all the claimed functions. While the general plural rule that “a” in a “comprising” claim means “one or more” allowed for the inclusion of multiple microprocessors, the court explained that the antecedent basis rules require that at least one of those microprocessors be capable of all the recited functions. A plurality of microprocessors collectively capable of performing all the claimed functions is not enough, if there is no single microprocessor that could do so. The court analogized that “[f]or a dog owner to have ‘a dog that rolls over and fetches sticks,’ it does not suffice that he have two dogs, each able to perform just one of the tasks.