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Patent: What values do claims have, and are they really necessary?

What values do claims have, and are they really necessary?

The claims are fundamental in the patent application and represent the willing declaration shown by the inventor, to wanting to get protection on definite aspects of the product to be indicated later. As by law, the text of the description and drawings should actually interpret the claims that, therefore, are the essential element of a patent. Having said this, the patent without the claims is often considered void, as the substantial part is missing, but this is not everybody’s opinion, as some judges think that the application could be integrated and therefore the claims added later on, that in any case couldn’t go beyond the content of the initial application.

Therefore, in the case of an unfinished application, it is recommendable to complete the text or, even better, to file a European or International patent application, claiming the right of priority given to the Italian application, and up-dating the text by adding the claims which had not been initially provided for. This kind of procedure, if done within the year from filing it in Italy, is legit and enables not to lose the obtained rights and to sell the patent without problems.

It is necessary to check whether or not the application is immediately accessible to the public, as in this second case there is a risk that the potential buyer, or his representative, could go to patent the invention in some foreign country and correcting the application before the actual patent’s owner does it.