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Patent Claim Reading for Technical Personnel

SpecialChem / Jul 30, 2008

Most scientists become familiar with reading and writing technical documents such as research papers and reports at an early stage in their careers. Not so with patents, where skill in reading tends to come later in a career and after direct experience of patenting product developments. Like research papers or reports, patents are also technical descriptions of products or processes, but have a unique grammar and vocabulary because their objectives for being written are not the same as a report. A patent is a legal document that must disclose and describe the boundaries of a claim no less precisely than the description of a piece of land in a deed. For this reason, every word, especially in a claim, has importance, and in some cases an incorrectly written word can even result in the loss of income from a product. Once a decision is made for an invention to be made and patented, several conditions have to be fulfilled that will allow the patent to be written, allowed by the patent office, and the product to be sold. First a "prior art" search must be carried out.

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