Checking claims for antecedent issues


ClaimMaster can check claims in a patent document for various antecedent issues, such as missing or ambiguous antecedents. To check claims for antecedent problems, perform the following steps:



Getting Started

  • In Word 2007 or later - from the ClaimMaster Ribbon, click on the Proofreading Tools menu, then select Check Claims for Antecedent Problems:



  • In Word 2003 or earlier - from the ClaimMaster toolbar, click on the Proofreading Utilities menu, then select Check Claims for Antecedent Problems:




Feature Options

Once you select the feature above, the error browser will launch. It will be "docked" to the right side of your Word document when it launches, unless automatic docking of dialogs is disabled in ClaimMaster's Preferences. The following operations are available in the antecedent browser dialog:



    1. The antecedent error browser has 3 views:
      • Errors - the primary view for reviewing the reported antecedent errors and warnings.
      • Term browser - allows you to browse definitions of reference terms within each claim. For more information, see antecedent term browser.
      • Parsing preferences - allows you customize your antecedent parsing preferences. For more information, see custom antecedent rules.


    1. Clicking this button will rerun the selected checks on the open document.


    1. Here you can select different types of check to be run by ClaimMaster. Use these checkboxes to enable/disable checking for different types of antecedent problems. In addition to missing antecedents, ClaimMaster can identify the following possible problems in claims:
      • 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”
      • 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.
      • Singular/plural mismatches - terms that were defined in plular form but then used in singular form (or vise-versa), leading to a possible ambiguity.


    1. Each antecedent report message in the "Error" view is clickable. By clicking on the message, you will expand it to show the claims that have the same missing antecedent problem. You can then click on individual claims and the error will be highlighted in the document, if possible.


    1. Where ClaimMaster is unsure, it will also flag any antecedent issues that need to be double-checked by a reviewer, although these issues are less likely to be problems.


    1. If "Highlight selected issues in the document" is selected, then all portions of the shown problems will be highlighted in the document.  Note that once you close this window, all added highlighting in the document will be removed.  Issues can be highlighted using the two build-in Word styles:
      • "Background" highlight style - issues will be shown using Word's highlight feature.
      • "Glow" highlight style - issues will be shown using Word's font glow property


    1. By clicking this button, you will dock or undock the reporting window from the main Word window