Overview of Claims

Important aspects of patent claims

Claims must be clear

A person drafting the claims must draft the claims in a clear and precise manner. Any discrepancy in the claims will lead to speculation by the person reading the claims. The use of words like “such as”, “thin”, “when required” and “so on” should be avoided to remove obscureness in the claims. Therefore, claims must be clear to the person reading them.

Claims must be complete

The person drafting the claims must cover all the key feature of the invention to define the scope of the invention. Moreover, each feature must be covered by enough number of elements so that it can be performed by a person skilled in the art. The patent claims for the invention should cover key features of a single invention.

Claims must be supported in the description

The person drafting the claims must enable them in the detailed description of the patent application. Each and every distinct feature written in the claims must be covered in the complete specification of the patent application. Further, every term present in the claims to explain any feature must be described in the detailed description.

The claims must distinguish the present invention from the prior art of the invention. A patent is granted based on the claims of the invention. The claims mentioned in the patent application are examined by the examiner before the grant of the patent to the inventor. The examiner scrutinizes the claims to check for the novelty, non-obviousness and the usefulness of the invention and send a detailed report to the controller. The controller has the power and right to pass the claims based on the report of the examiner. In case of any error or limitation in the claims, the controller sends the report to the inventor for further correction to be made in the claims of the invention.

A patent grants an exclusive right to the inventor. The inventor has the right to prevent others from making, using or selling his patented invention. Rights of the inventor are based on the scope of the claims present in the patent. Claims are the topmost assets for any inventor in case of infringement of the invention by any other person. The inventor can file a lawsuit in court against the person infringing on the inventor’s idea after the grant of the patent.  Claims play an important role to stop the potential infringer from illegally infringing on another person patent. The process of taking legal action is called litigation. The decision of the court in case of potential infringement is based on the claims of the patent. Therefore, claims play an important role in the licensing of the patents.

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