Strategic Use Of Dependent Claims In US Patent Applications

Guest post by John Russell.

Dependent claims are an underutilized tool in the US. Unlike some foreign jurisdictions that do not necessarily require examiners to fully examine all of the claims, the USPTO must examiner all claims (unless otherwise restricted). Unfortunately, dependent claims are often afterthoughts, especially later in prosecution. As the bar is continually rising for the top prosecution firms in the country, the full range of strategic uses of dependent claims is becoming much more important. Here, we discuss a few of the different ways to use dependent claims.

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