Claims of a patent application capture the core of an invention in a clear and complete manner. Claims define the boundaries for protection of the invention. There are two basic types of claims. They are independent claims and dependent claims. An Independent claim is a claim that defines the working of the invention in a broad manner. The Independent claim does not refer to any other claim and stands on its own. A dependent claim depends on Independent claims or other dependent claims. The dependent claim specifies a further limitation to the elements of the Independent claim or the dependent claim.
A general structure of the independent claim consists of a preamble, a connector word and a body. The preamble recites the general concept of the invention. For example, “A computer implemented method for information management”. The connector word is the word that connects the preamble and the body of the claim. The connector word is, for example, “comprising”, “consisting of”, etc. The body of the claim includes the steps of the invention. The general structure of the dependent claim consists of a reference to the claim on which the dependent claim depends on, a connector word, and a further limitation to the independent claim or the dependent claim, that is, the dependent claim builds on the independent claim or the dependent claim. For example, “The computer implemented method of claim 1, further comprising generating reports for said information management”.
Claims should be drafted in a broad yet narrow manner covering all the novel aspects of the invention. Also fewer words for drafting a claim broadens the scope of the claim. Avoiding unnecessary elements in a claim is a good strategy for drafting claims. The most commonly used words in a claim are “comprising”, “plurality”, “one or more”, “one of”, “configured to”, “further comprising”, “wherein”, “whereby”, etc. Further there are different types of claims depending on the type of invention. The different types of claims are method or process claims, system claims, apparatus or device claims, computer program product claims, composition of matter claims, etc.