Drafting Claims of a Patent Application

Parts of a Claim

A claim is generally presented in three parts. The three parts are known as Preamble, Transitional Phrase and the Body. The three parts are explained below in detail.


The preamble is the introductory sentence of a claim. The preamble is used for describing and identifying the category of the invention. The preamble may include a method or a process of doing any task, a system, an apparatus or a device for followed by its purpose.

Few sets of examples showing only the preamble part of the claim are given below:

1st Example – “A method implemented by data processing apparatus”, the method comprising:

2nd Example – “A chemical composition for cleaning windows”, said composition substantially consisting of:

3rd Example – “An apparatus for transmitting self-destructing electronic mail messages”, the apparatus comprising:

Transitional Phrase

The preamble part of the claim is followed by the transitional phrase part. The transitional phrase is immediately written after the preamble part separated by a comma. The transitional phrase depicts a transition from one thing to another. The transitional phrase is usually made up of words and phrases such as “comprising”, “which comprises”, “characterized by”, “consisting of”, “including”, “containing” and “consisting essentially of”. The word or the phrase is used to describe the relation between the preamble part and the body of the claim (described below). The transitional phrase increases the scope of the invention by specifying additional elements.  Examples of the transitional phrase are given below:

A method for encoding a three-dimensional stereoscopic video signal, the method comprising the steps of:

A method for aggregating an online identity of a user from activities at social media sites for targeting content, the method comprising:

Body of the Claim

The last part of a claim is the body of the claim. The preamble and the transitional phrase are followed by the body of the claim. The body of the claim defines the various steps taking place in the invention in a sequential manner.  The steps may be of a method or may include the one or more components which are configured for executing the invention. It defines the various elements in the invention and the various relationships between those elements.  Also, it defines the difference between the various elements of the invention. Example of the body of the claim is shown below:

A hand sewing needle, comprising:

An elongate body having a first end and a second end, wherein said elongate body is straight having a single axis extending between said first end and said second end and wherein said elongate body is a solid structure and wherein said first end and said second end is comprised of a pointed shape; and

an eyelet positioned within said elongate body between said first end and said second end.


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