Types of Claims

Types of claims based on dependency

The drafting of a patent application initiates with the drafting of claims. Therefore, it is very important for a person drafting the claims of the invention to have a complete knowledge about the structure of the claims. The structure of the claims defines the way in which claims in a patent application are written. The structure defined for presenting the claims in a logical way so that the reader has an ease of understanding. The structure of the claims consists of one or more set of claims. A set of claims composed of one or more independent claims and dependent claims. The types of claims based on dependency are described below.

 Independent Claim

Set of claims begins with an independent claim and followed by dependent claims. The independent claims are the claims that are not dependent on any other claims. The independent claims describe the essential components to performs the invention. The novelty of the invention must be described in the independent claim. An independent claim usually consists of clauses. Each clause defines a unique step or part of the invention for performing the invention. The clauses define the novelty and the uniqueness of the invention. Moreover, the clauses must differentiate invention from the prior arts. The number of clauses in the independent claim depends on the number of steps or components required to completely describe the invention. There can be more than one independent claim depending on the country where the inventor is seeking patent protection. Every patent application must contain at least one independent claim.

Dependent Claims

The dependent claims depend on an independent claim. The dependent claims follow after the independent claim. A dependent claim defines the specific embodiments of the invention. The dependent claims state various other features to be included in the invention. The dependent claim includes everything mentioned in the independent claims as well as the features which are given in the dependent claim itself. Therefore, dependent claims are narrower as compared to the independent claim. The remaining details are depicted in the dependent claims results in limiting the scope of the invention.

Multiple Dependent Claims

As the name clearly suggests, multiple dependent claims are dependent on more than one claim. Multiple dependent claims provide another format for writing the dependent claims. Multiple dependent claims can be dependent on more than one dependent claim or may be dependent on one or more dependent claim and independent claim. The format for writing multiple dependent claims is different from that of the dependent claims. The multiple dependent claims refer to any preceding claim. The reference to the independent claim or dependent claim made using the phrases such as “or”, “anyone of”, “one of”, “any of”, either. The phrases used to separate the number of the claim on which the multiple dependent claims depend.

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