Claim Chart & Its Role in Infringement Studies
Posted on: August 11, 2017
A reason behind patenting the new idea is to promote more invention and restricting others from using the patented thing. When a patented invention is knowingly or unknowingly used, sold, manufactured and exported by a person, then it is called as an infringement.
Claim chart is an important strategic tool used for evaluating and handling the potential patent infringement cases. When a person comes to know that his invention is infringed by someone else, he can use this claim chart tool to assess the degree of infringement.
A patent claim chart is primarily used in patent infringement analysis to illustrate how a product or service is infringing the patent claim.
In a patent claim chart, a target patent claim is split into individual claim elements and represented in a tabular form. Each of the claim elements are interpreted and evidences of use of any prior art is mapped correspondingly. The evidences of use of prior art could be a patent, a product or any published information.
Claim charts are alternatively termed such as claims tables, infringement contentions (ICs), invalidity contentions, preliminary infringement contentions (PICs) depending on the requirements.
How the claim charts are helpful?
The claim chart is very effective for the following;
- To investigate and identify the actual infringement of each claim element by the accused product/service and preparing the report for patent infringement case
- To scrutinize the claims of a patent to identify the products and services covered by them
- Internal development strategy to assess the existing products and related IP mainly for licensing opportunities
- Examining the claim elements of a patent to assess the validity of the patent
- To assist the court / parties’ infringement contentions involved in litigation to narrow down the case so that they parties can focus and advance discovery
- To help the parties in finding the facts to support the argument against the Doctrine of Equivalence (DOE)
- In some cases, this could help a party to evaluate the strength or weakness of their position.
Why are claims chosen for the infringement study?
Patent claims are heart of the patent. Although, patents are divided into different parts like abstract, claims, specification, drawing etc. only the patent claims define the novel aspect / exclusive right granted to the patent applicant and the rest of the document is to facilitate the understanding of the claimed invention.
Einfolge provides a detailed and comprehensive claim chart report comprising the following aspects:
- Exhaustive product search to narrow down on a list of potentially infringing products/services
- Extensive research for garnering evidence from varied technical resources such as data sheets, product manuals, technical articles, etc.
- Wide analysis of each patent claim element and limitations
- Detailed mapping of the patent claims onto the features of the infringing product on basis of reasonable claim construction
- An opinion on infringement with facts and findings from the comparison chart
- Suggestions and work around for the development of the right IP strategy based on outcome of the results in the comparison chart
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