If a claim is for a method, the right to exclude would be to exclude any single party from carrying out all the steps of the claim.
Basic information about patents and the process of applying for a patent can be found at the Inventor’s Resources webpage.With respect to publications and foreign patents, it is necessary to look at the date of actual publication or opening to the public.While the minimum acceptable date of prior art is a date preceding the filing date of the patent application which became the patent being challenged, it is preferable to seek prior art with a date more than one year earlier than the filing date of such application.But the fewer the limitations in a claim, the more likely it is that the claim will cover, or "read on," what came before and be rejected during examination or found to be invalid at a later time for lack of novelty or obviousness. In many European countries, patents did not contain claims before the 1970s. patent applications since the enactment of the Patent Act of 1836.
It was then often difficult to decide whether a product infringed a patent, since the sole basis to know the extent of protection was the description, in view of the prior art. However, even among patent legal systems in which the claims are used as the reference to decide the scope of protection conferred by a patent, the way the claims are used may vary substantially.the scope, of the protection conferred by a patent, or the protection sought in a patent application.