Tutorial – Checking Claims for Antecedent Basis Issues

ClaimMaster includes several helpful tools for checking claims in a patent document for various antecedent basis (“AB”) issues, such as missing or ambiguous antecedents, and other types of related inconsistencies.


To check claims for various antecedent problems, perform the following steps:

  1. Launch Antecedent Basis Checking Feature

    From the ClaimMaster Ribbon, click on the Individual Tools menu, then select Check Claims for Antecedent Problems:

    antecedent checking

    Once you click this option, ClaimMaster will parse the terms in your claims and identify any antecedent basis issues. After this is done, you can review the results in several different ways.

  2. Review AB Results (Option 1, AB Browser)

    The default way to review results is to view them the Antecedent Basis Browser that comes up after you start the AB checking operation. Here you can expand the reported issues and click on the specific terms to select the identified issues directly in the open Word document.

    antecedent basis issues

    ClaimMaster reports several types of antecedent basis issues, which can be selected/unselected in the browser using respective checkboxes:

    a) Antecedent basis errors – these are the terms with clearly missing antecedent basis

    b) Possibly missing AB – where a possible antecedent basis is found, ClaimMaster will flag the term to be double-checked by a reviewer.

    c) Ambiguous terms – terms that may have ambiguous antecedent references. For example, two “a widget” terms in the same claim will become ambiguous when later referred to as simply “the widget”

    d) Possibly limiting preamble – terms that are first defined in the preamble and later referred to in the body of the claim. Because these terms breathe “life and meaning” into the claims, their definition in the preamble may be potentially limiting.

    e) Singular/plural mismatches – terms that were defined in plular form but then used in singular form (or vise-versa), leading to a possible ambiguity.

  3. Review AB Results (Option 2, Document Highlights)

    If you’d like, you can highlight all AB issues directly in the open Word document. You can do that by clicking on Highlight selected issues button in the Antecedent Basis Browser.

    antecedent basis highlight

    Doing this will highlight all identified issues directly in the open Word document:

    antecedent basis checking results


  4. Review AB Results (Option 3, HTML Report)

    Alternatively, you can review the results in the HTML report format, which could be useful as it shows all identified issues directly in the claims and also has some additional highlighting/search options. To do so, click on the HTML Report button in the Antecedent Basis browser

    antecedent basis html

    This will open an HTML report with the selected issues highlighted. You can click on individual items in the report to get further information, as explained in more detail in the Help section of the report.

    antecedent checking results



  5. Review Identified Antecedent Basis Terms (Optional)

    To further drill-down into a specific AB issue, you can switch to the Term Browser tab to review the parsed terms within each claim, including antecedent references to terms and the original terms used for defining antecedent basis. From here, you can also export all parsed AB terms to a CSV file or highlight all of the parsed terms directly in the document.

    antecedent basis terms

  6. Adjust Antecedent Basis Parsing Rules

    You can also adjust AB parsing rules, as explained in more detail in this post.


For more information on this feature, check out the Online Manual.

Read other Step-by-step tutorials