Patent Claims

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Most Common Intellectual Property Law Issues:

What Are Patent Claims?

Patents are a form of intellectual property and are governed by intellectual property laws. Patent claims are the most important part of the patent application. They are statements that describe in detail exactly what your invention covers. When you write your patent claims you are effectively "claiming" the material in the claims as your own. The claims determine whether your invention is patentable and determine the scope of protection your patent will give you.

What Do I Need to Include in My Patent Claims?

The patent claims must list your invention's structural elements (for a product) or steps (for a process). Your claims should distinctly claim the elements that you believe make up your invention.

Do I Need to Put My Patent Claims in a Certain Format?

There is no particular format required for patent claims but most claims have a preamble, a transition phrase, and a body:

How Broad Should I Make My Claims?

When you make your claims, you have to balance the desire to get as much protection as possible with the need to get a valid patent.

Are There Any Special Kinds of Claims?

Patent law allows two special kinds of claims.

Do I Need an Intellectual Property Lawyer?

Because patent claims are so important to the patent process, you should probably consult with an intellectual property attorney to make sure your claims adequately protect your invention without being overly broad. An experienced patent attorney will be able to draft patent claims that will maximize the scope of your patent.

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Last Modified: 06-11-2014 03:17 PM PDT

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