•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Technology is always changing. Patent law is also constantly evolving, as the courts and Congress continue to make significant changes to this area of law. But what about patents themselves? Some studies have looked at how patent specifications have changed over time, but no one has looked specifically at the most important aspect of a patent, its claims. Given the changes in technology and law, one would anticipate patent claims to have evolved.

Despite the expectations, this paper concludes that patent claim shape is largely unaffected by time, technology, crowded fields, or prosecution time. This paper suggests a possible reason why claim length appears incommensurate with technology and unaffected by other factors. Specifically, patent claims are drafted to “look good,” regardless of the underlying technology or any other factor that should figure into claim length.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.