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What is a Patent Claim? | IP Conversations

Why are patent claims the most important part of a patent application? Read this IP Conversation to find out!

 Hey IP Geek. 

I keep hearing how the claims in a patent application are the most essential part of it.

What is a patent claim and why are claims so important?

Claims are part of the complete (ie; the final) patent specification. 

The complete specification also includes the descriptions and the mandatory disclosures required by patent law. 

 A complete specification must end with patent claims defining the scope of the invention.

Ie; a patent claim defines the exact boundaries of what the patent seeks to protect.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of claims. 

Independent claims can stand on their own, and must contain the limitations and definitions of what is to be protected. 

Dependent claims are claims which reference an already stated independent claim- they generally further define or limit the boundaries set by the independent claim.

When drafting claims, the attorney must ensure that they are neither too broad nor too narrow. 

The former can result in the patent being rejected and the latter can result in a badly protected invention.

So you’re telling me that the way the claims are drafted can make or break a patent. That does make them very important.

Thanks for letting me know about this, IP Geek. 


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