Generating flowcharts and their descriptions from method claims [+Drafting Option Only]


ClaimMaster includes patent application drafting tools that let you quickly generate flowcharts from method claims, either in Visio or PowerPoint format.  Individual method steps will be converted to flowchart boxes and numbered according to your selected numbering scheme. You also can control  the overall flowchart layout and style. In addition, ClaimMaster will generate corresponding text description for each of the selected flowcharts. To generate flowcharts and corresponding descriptions, perform the following steps:



Getting Started

  • In Word 2007 or later - from the ClaimMaster Ribbon, click on the Patent Drafting Tools menu, then select Generate Flowcharts + Descriptions from Method Claims:




Feature Options

Once you select the feature from the menu above, the patent drafting window will come up. It will be "docked" to the left side of your Word document when it launches, unless automatic docking of patent drafting windows is disabled in Patent Drafting Preferences  (i.e., the "Dock drafting windows" checkbox is unchecked).  The following operations are available for this feature:



    1. If you've made any changes to the claims while this drafting window is open, click on the "Reload claims" button to re-parse the claims in the open Word document.
    2. Use this button to select only independent claims for the generated flowchart section/drawings.  Once a new claim is selected, ClaimMaster will regenerate the preview fields.
    3. Select one or more of the claims to use as the base for the generated flowcharts drawings/text. 
    4. To help with the claim selection, if you hover over any claim number in the claim tree, you will be able to review the text of the claim in the small tooltip window that appears below the claim number. 
    5. ClaimMaster will create a separate flowchart/description for each selected group of claims (i.e., independent + any of its dependents). You can navigate between claim groups using these tabs.
    6. Here you can specify the preferred figure number for the selected claim group. All steps will be numbered as multiples of the specified figure number (e.g., 3), incremented by the specified fixed step (e.g., 302, 304, 306, etc).
    7. Here you can specify the preferred step increment (default value is 2). Steps in the flowcharts will be incremented based on the selected increment.  For example, if the current figure number is set to 6 and step increment is set to 3, steps will be numbered as 603, 606, 609, and so on.
    8. In this text field, you can preview and edit the draft flowchart.  For example, you can edit step numbers and any limitation text to have your changes reflected in the generated flowcharts. The edited text is what will be used for filling-out the final flowchart. 

   Notes:

      1. Make sure to place step #s into square brackets
      2. Place [ignore] for steps you don't want to include into the flowchart or just remove them from the text field. 
      3. Changing claim #s, figure #s, or step increments above will reset the preview.
      4. If you have more steps than can fit on one page (e.g., because you have many steps or because steps have a lot of text), ClaimMaster will automatically continue the steps on the next page of the flowchart. You can try to adjust box width/page width factor (item 8) to fit all boxes on one page.
    1. Specify whether to output the flowchart in PPT or Visio formats.  If must have Visio installed for ClaimMaster to generate figures in Visio format.
    2. Check this if you'd like to include a 'Start' bubble in the beginning of the flowchart.
    3. Specify whether you want to place step numbers inside or outside of the boxes in the flowchart.
    4. Box width/page width factor (between 0 and 1) lets you specify the related width of the boxes compared to page width.  For narrower boxes, select a smaller number.  For wider boxes, select a number closer to 1.
    5. Click “Generate Flowchart” to generate a draft flowchart figure in the specified format. 
    6. This drop-down selection menu lists all of the available Flowchart generation templates configured in ClaimMaster.  You can only select one template at a time.  
    7. Click this button to open settings for Flowchart generation templates.
    8. Use this drop-down to select the device name (e.g., "device", "apparatus", or something else) for the device name placeholder in the flowchart description. This value is template-specific and will replace [DEVICENAME] field in the template.
    9. Use this field to specify the device part # to be used throughout the description. This value is template-specific.
    10. Shows the preview of the generated flowchart description for the specified claim group, based on the selected claims (item 3) and the template selected above (item 14). You can make edits directly into the preview window.  When you insert the generated flowchart description into the document (item 21), the text from the preview window will be used during insertion.  Note that re-selecting claims (item 3) or a new template (item 14), will reset the preview window.
    11. Specify whether to insert the generated flowchart descriptions into the currently open Word document or into a new Word document (to be created when "Insert Description(s)" button is clicked).
    12. Specify whether to insert the generated flowchart descriptions into the document as part of the pre-defined section with a specific header (e.g., "Detailed Description", etc.). 
    13. Press this button to add the generated flowchart descriptions (as shown the preview window) into either the currently open document or a new Word document, depending on the settings specified in item 19. The descriptions will be inserted as part of the section (if any) specified in item 20.
    14. Specifies the save location for the generated flowcharts and their descriptions. If specified, all generated flowcharts and documents will be saved to this directory.
    15. Press +/- buttons to adjust the font size in the preview window (item 18) for easier review.
    16. Press this button to dock/undock the patent drafting window to the left side of the open Word document. If the patent drafting window is already docked, it will be undocked from the Word document and will appear floating on top of it.
    17. When this button is pressed, you'll be presented with a workflow window that will let you quickly move on to the next patent drafting operation, such as shown below: