Generating a claim dependency matrix

If you are drafting claims for EPO applications, you probably use multiple dependent claims that depend from other multiple dependent claims, since unlike the USPTO, the EPO permits such claims and there is also no fee penalty for drafting such claims. For example, you may have a set of nested multiple dependent claims that each says in the preamble: "The method of any one of claims 1-N, further comprising:...", where N is the claim number of the previous claim.  However, if you are trying to visualize such a nested claim set, the resulting visual diagram/tree of the claim hierarchy will quickly become intractable due to sheer number of dependencies.  To help understand the dependency structure of such nested claim sets (although this feature can be used for any claim set), ClaimMaster can generate a simple matrix view of all claim dependencies that lets you quickly trace all direct children and parents of each claim in the claim set.

When using a matrix view, such as the one shown below,an Excel table will be generated for each group of independent claim and its dependent claims (both direct and indirect).  The dependency table can be used as follows:

    • To identify all direct dependent claims for any given claim # (either independent or dependent), find the row that starts for that claim # and then identify all other claims marked with X in that row. For example, claim 2 below has the following claims that directly depend from it: claims 4, 5, 7-9, 11-13, and 15, as indicated by Xs in the columns for those claims..
    • To identify all direct parents of a given claim #, look at the column for that claim # and find corresponding claims that are marked with Xs in that column. In the example below, claim 9 directly depends from claims 1-8, while claim 14 only directly depends from claim 13, and claim 10 depends from claims 1 and 9. 
    • The total number of unique claim combinations is also shown (i..e., independent + all dependents, where each dependency is counted as a separate claim). 

Getting Started

To generate the claim dependency matrix, perform the following steps:

  • From the ClaimMaster Ribbon, click on the Navigation Tools -> View Claim Tree menu, then Print Claim Dependency (Excel):


Feature Options

Once this option is selected, ClaimMaster will display the matrix view of claim dependencies in Excel format