December 22, 2015

Frustoconical: The Right Word for the Right Shape

Another unusual pair of words that are common only in a patent attorney’s lexicon are frustoconical and frustopyramidal, meaning  truncated cone and truncated pyramid, respectively. Frustoconical appears in the claims fo 8432 patents since 1976, frustopyramidal in only 80 patents since 1976.

If you need to describe the shape of a truncated cone, frustoconical is exactly what you need to use. Even though the work is obscure, it is doubtful that it is any harder for a lay person to understand than “truncated cone” than frustoconical.

Frustoconical shape of patent illustration

U.S. Patent No. 8,534,460, Fig. 2 showing a “tapering frustoconical sidewall 32″