Inventive-Departure-Based Claims—Part I
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Invention Analysis and Claiming:
Inventive-Departure-Based Claims—Part I1

By Ronald Slusky

Ronald Slusky mentored dozens of attorneys in “old school” invention analysis and claiming principles over a 31-year career at Bell Laboratories. He is now in private practice in New York City. This article is adapted from his book “Invention Analysis and Claiming: A Patent Lawyer’s Guide” published by the American Bar Association and available at all online bookstores. More information about the book can be found at www.claim- Ron can be reached at 212-246-4546 and

Drafting patent claims can be a challenging task, particularly for the novice.  The specter of that blank sheet of paper or empty computer screen can be daunting. 

However, if a problem-solution statement for the invention has already been developed,2 the hard part will have already been done.  Problem-solution statement in hand, the patent attorney can begin drafting claims for the invention not with an empty screen, but with a substantial kernel of inventive essence.  The time invested in getting the problem-solution statement just right—defining the invention as broadly as possible without reading on the prior art—will now bear fruit.  Far from being an isolated activity, drafting the claims becomes the capstone of a compre...

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