Sunday, March 10, 2019

Patent Claim Grammar

As someone who has reviewed more than 10,000 claims and writes software for proofreading patent claims, I wish more attention was paid to claim grammar.

Even well-written claims are very hard to understand. Adding poor grammar to the mix makes claims painful to read and possibly more vulnerable to invalidity arguments in litigation.

Let's start with a couple of questions...

Is a patent claim a sentence?

Nope. It looks like a sentence. After all, it starts with a capital letter and ends with a period. But there is one important thing missing. A patent claim does not ever have a verb.

So what is a patent claim?

Each patent claim is a REALLY long noun. The noun is something like a method, system, or a non-transitory, computer-readable medium. All of the words that come after the noun just provide details of that noun.

Let's take an example: