A patent claim analysis is a study of a particular patent that pulls out its most important elements for those hoping to gain a better understanding of a patent, those writing a patent application, or those hoping to avoid patent infringement.

What Is a Patent Claim?

Patents are a type of intellectual property protection that allows the owner of a patent to prevent others from creating or using the same invention that the owner patented. An individual or business entity can be found guilty of patent infringement if they do any of the following actions involving a patented invention:

  • Sell
  • Make
  • Use
  • Offer to Sell

The claims of a patent are its most important aspect. They lay out the specifics of what exactly is protected by IP (intellectual property) law. Someone can be guilty of patent infringement even if they only violate one of the claims in a patent.

Identifying the Elements of a Claim

When determining the value of a patent, claim analysis is essential. The "all-elements rule" idea applies to patent protection, so each element of a patent claim has to have been used in the infringing process or product in order for it to be considered an actual infringement. This means that identifying all of the elements of a patent claim is very important when either drafting a patent application or studying a patent.

The process of identifying all of the elements of a patent claim is a very difficult and time-consuming task, even when carried out by a patent specialist. This is where an online patent claim analysis tool, like Pelent, comes in handy because it uses processes to speed up the search.

How to Use the Online Claim Analyzer

There are different online patent claim analyzers available. They use algorithms to provide checks and lookups for patents automatically. Patents that are granted and published applications will be searched and analyzed for you. These online analyzers will also provide verification so you know that each of the elements of the patent were properly identified, which is a useful tool for patent specialists.

The databases that the online claim analyzers use stay up-to-date with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). In order to use an online patent analyzer, follow these steps:

  1. Type the number for a US patent into the search field and click "Submit."
  2. Tabs will appear for each matching independent claim.
  3. Each element of each claim will be identified and color coded.
  4. If you wish to select a certain claim element, click on it, and you will be taken to the corresponding instance in the patent specification.

This process allows almost anyone the ability to view and learn more about any US patent of their choice. Office workers and non-specialists are able to perform research using these tools, which makes patent analysis less expensive for companies and inventors.

What Is a Patent Claim Chart?

Patent claim charts come in graphic or tab formats, depending on their intended use. The chart presents the important elements of a patent in an easy-to-follow way. A patent claim chart is a way to show the results of a patent claim analysis.

Any evidence of prior art, intent, or use will also be displayed through the chart. This helps to show possible issues of infringement and can also help in the patent valuation process.

Defendants and plaintiffs prepare and use claim construction, also called a claim interpretation chart in patent infringement cases. Claim constructions show the specifics of a certain patent while interpreting the claim's language. When accusing a product or process of patent infringement, use a claim chart to argue either side of the issue.

Proving evidence of use, or EoU, is necessary in order to find a party guilty of infringement. The plaintiff in an infringement case will use patent claim charts to show specifically how the defendant's invention or process used a protected part of the patent already on file with the USPTO.

Thanks to automatic analysis tools, the process is easier than ever. Whether you're looking to invent or patent your own idea or creation, proper patent claim analysis will be vital to your endeavor.

If you need help with a patent claim analysis, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.