The focus of our discussion today will be on the various types of limitations in a patent claim, including structural, functional, and intended use claim limitations, and how they differ from one another. What is a structural claim limitation? A structural claim limitation is a type of limitation found in patent claims that restrict the claimed invention to a specific … [Read more...]
The patent claim defines the scope of patent protection afforded under the patent. The patent claim may be an apparatus or method claim.
Browse related articles below.
Claim drafting tip: Use terms consistently
The goal of a claim is to define the scope of protection of a patent. The claim needs to be clear and understandable so that infringers or your competitors can know if they are infringing on your patent or not. Otherwise, your patent will the invalid for being indefinite. To make the claim clear, the words of the claim need to be used consistently. For example, if the claim … [Read more...]
How to use A, THE and SAID in a Claim?
A claim in a patent or patent application uses the words A, AN, THE, and SAID. This article explains how to utilize these words in a claim properly. The basic rule for initially introducing a term The first time that you recite a term in a claim, you must use the word A or AN to introduce that term. For example, a claim to a tripod may look like this. A tripod for supporting … [Read more...]
What is an apparatus claim versus method claim?
An apparatus claim is a claim directed to a product. A method claim is directed to the steps of a process. All claims are either apparatus or method claims. For example, a software claim is a type of method claim unless it is directed to the system then it is an apparatus claim. A product claim is an apparatus claim. A chemistry claim is an apparatus claim unless it … [Read more...]
What is an independent claim versus a dependent claim?
A set of claims of a patent or patent application will have independent and dependent claims. An independent claim is a claim that does not depend on another claim. A dependent claim is a claim that depends on another claim. The independent claim is broader in scope compared to a dependent claim. A claim set can have one or more independent and dependent claims for the … [Read more...]
What does broadest reasonable interpretation mean?
The Broadest Reasonable Interpretation (aka BRI) means that the words of the claim are given their plain meaning unless such meaning is inconsistent with the specification. In practice, the broadest reasonable interpretation means that words can be construed as broadly as the examiner wants unless such interpretation is nonsensical. What is an example of the broadest … [Read more...]
What does “point of novelty” mean?
"Point of novelty" refers to the features of the product or process which is different from the current state of the art (i.e., prior art). It goes further than just identifying the new aspect of the invention. Rather, point of novelty refers to the new functional feature believed to be patentable and worthy of the time and costs to obtain a patent. For example, each year a … [Read more...]
How To Write a Claim for Your Patent Application?
Note: This article is part of a series on how to write a great patent application.Writing a claim for a patent application is a difficult task to do well. Many factors go into it:Who are you trying to target for infringement (e.g. manufacturers, users, third-party component manufacturers)?Which aspect of the invention do you claim?Do you present a claim that is narrow to … [Read more...]