Source code ch.13: Exam purpose & approaches

Source Code & Software Patents: A Guide to Software & Internet Patent Litigation for Attorneys & Experts
by Andrew Schulman (
Detailed outline for forthcoming book

Chapter 13: Purposes of, and general approach to, source-code examination

13.1 Purpose of the source-code examination

  • 13.1.1 Not a holistic exercise to “understand” the code as a whole
  • 13.1.2 Focused search for specific elements & steps to match patent claim limitations
  • 13.1.3 Extraction
  • 13.1.4 Translation
  • 13.1.5 Comparison, matching, and “mapping”
  • 13.1.6 Similarity to “quick peek” review: inspect, select, review, produce
  • 13.1.6b FRCP 34(a)(2): “permit entry onto designated land or other property possessed or controlled by the responding party, so that the requesting party may inspect, measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the property or any designated object or operation on it”
  • 13.1.7 Source-code exam output: Bates-stamped print-outs of files selected by requesting party from producing party’s larger source-code production

13.2 Examiner’s general approaches to source code

  • 13.2.1 Top-down & bottom-up approaches
  • 13.2.2 Function-call & data-flow approaches
  • 13.2.3 Searching & tracing approaches
  • 13.2.4 Searching: Using keywords, synonyms, and potential exemplary terminology
  • 13.2.5 Tracing: Examining code with reduced dependence upon terms or names
  • 13.2.6 Code reading
  • 13.2.6 Element-by-element comparison of code with patent claims

13.3 Likely contents of source-code production — see chapter 15 on exam environment


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