Q: In claim construction should you use "or" before the phrase "combination thereof?" Some say avoid "or."
A: Or is a red flag to Examiners so try to avoid it. Sometimes you cannot.
Not sure where you are getting the verbiage "or combination thereof" . That is not a standard way to write a claim. A quick search of US patents found many thousands with the word "combination" in the claims. But zero claims in issued patents with "combination thereof".
Frequently, claims use "comprising" to indicate some elements that are required to be present while leaving open that other things are there too. I am not sure if that would help you.
You may want to do some patent searching and look at some issued patents that are in the same field as your invention. My slide set at http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching may provide some help.
If you found this answer helpful, you may want to look at my answers to other questions about patent law are available at the bottom of my profile page at https://lawyers.justia.com/lawyer/kevin-e-flynn-880338
Kevin E Flynn
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