Why Patent Claims are Important
The claims are the most important part of a patent, their prominence in patent valuation cannot be overstated. Incredibly, this fundamental maxim is often overlooked resulting in flawed valuations. In patent law: “The name of the game is the claim.”
A patent provides the patent owner the “right to exclude” others from making, using or selling the invention claimed in the patent for 20 years. US law dictates that whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, or imports any patented invention (during the term of the patent) is guilty of patent infringement. The value of the patent lies directly within the claims, i.e. they define the literal boundary of the patent owner’s right to exclude. The claims define the patented invention; further infringement of “any one claim” is considered infringement of the patent.
Identifying Claim Elements
Without exception, the claims are vital and their analysis is an unconditional requirement for determining value. In order for infringement to exist, every element or limitation of the claim must exist in the accused product or process — in other words, each and every claim element must be identified — a doctrine known as the “all-elements rule.”
Pelent’s Claim Analyzer automatically identifies and extracts each claim element and allows users to identify important and valuable limitations of a patent. Identifying the claim elements is time consuming and often error prone even for experienced patent specialists. Mistakes can cost thousands of dollars in wasted effort and legal costs. A single claim element can severely limit the value of a patent.
How to Use the Claim Analyzer
The online Claim Analyzer is easy to use; it automatically provides a patent lookup and patent check. The Claim Analyzer is designed for US patents and supports both granted patents and published patent applications. The Analyzer is also useful for specialists since it provides verification to ensure that each claim element has been correctly identified. We’ve outlined the particulars to help you use and leverage the tool.
- Enter a US patent number and click the “Submit” button.
- While the Analyzer processes all the patent claims, each tab represents an independent claim because these are the most important claims.
- The patent database is updated daily from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- The Claim Analyzer automatically identifies and colour codes each claim element. The results allows users to easily identify the claim elements and removes the need for specialists, i.e. a layperson can easily identify the important claim elements of a patent.
- The number of claim elements is shown for each independent claim, and the number can be used to prioritize claims for valuation of further analysis.
- Click to select any claim element; the selected claim elements are highlighted as well as linked to instances in the patent specification (if they are present).
- Users can quickly locate further description of the claim element within the patent specification. In some cases the description of the claim element does not exist, which is important information and may weaken the value of the claim, possibly the entire patent.
Understanding Claim Charts
Infringement is commonly documented in the form of a claim chart. The claim chart illustrates the existence of every claim element in an accused infringing product or process. Effective patent licensing and brokering depend on compelling Evidence of Use (EoU) in the form of accurate and detailed claim charts, offering concrete evidence that a patented invention is being used in a product.
The Claim Analyzer helps in the creation of claim charts; it automatically creates a claim chart template for the requested patent number in an MS Word format:
- A claim chart template can be generated for any of the independent claims
- By using the template the user can then begin the process of mapping each claim element relative to a specific product, i.e. providing evidence that a patented invention is being used
- In some cases, detailed product documentation is available, therefore producing claim charts can be inexpensive
- In other cases evidence must be produced using sophisticated reverse engineering techniques and highly skilled subject matter experts (SMEs)
- In either case, the claim chart template serves to quickly identify the extent of effort and cost required early in the planning process
Pelent provides a simple yet powerful patent analysis tool, unique in the industry. Try it!