Claims are most important part of the patent as they define legal scope of the patent. Hence they should be carefully drafted. During coming month I will be writing about various tips for patent claim drafting.

For quick glance, in this blog am a just giving 8 quick tips to write claims –


Claims must start with one of the following phrases:
“I claim” (use this if you are the sole inventor);
“We claim” (use this if you are filing an application where there are more than one inventors); or,
“The invention claimed is” (this can be used whether you have one or more inventors).


Each claim must begin with capital letter and numbered consecutively.
Example:  I claim: A pen having cap at its end.


Independent claim is divided into preamble, transition phase and body of the claim. Preamble (or introductory phrase) is used to indicate statutory class of the claim or in simple language you can understand it defines or name the thing which is to be claimed. Most careful point for preamble is that it should not be too broad or too narrow. To avoid too limited scope, non specific nouns can be used. Example: “Device consists of “.


What is to be written in preamble or broadest claim is a paradox and should be written carefully. For an invention of toaster if your preamble says heating device, then it might be too broad if complete invention is directed towards toasting only. Conversely, if the preamble says toaster and invention is adaptable for giller, then you cannot stop any person who is marketing giller as he may argue the claims are restricted to toasting only.


The transitional phrase is an introductory clause between the preamble and body of the claim. The commonly used phrases: “comprising,” “consisting essentially of,” and “consisting of.” The word “comprising” is frequently used because it is open-ended in that it does not exclude additional, unrecited method steps or elements. The use of the word “consisting” when used as a transitional phrase excludes any element which you have not specifically claimed.

Dependent claims are a good way to add additional claims to your application if you want to add some significant element or feature to a claim that you have previously written. They contain-
(a)    Further elements or features
(b)    Further description of properties
(c)    Further limitations of the features

Dependent claims should be written within the scope of independent claim on which it depends.

In case of apparatus claims, find the main elements or parts of the machine and make claims naming elements and how they are functionally or physically related to each other. Wherein or whereby clauses are typical in apparatus claims and usually tie in the important elements of the apparatus and state the advantage or what is accomplished by the apparatus.