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:
From the ClaimMaster Ribbon, click on the Individual Proofing Tools menu, then select Check Claims for Antecedent Problems:
Once you select the feature above, the error browser will launch. It will be placed in the Word custom task pane or "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 "Errors" tab of the antecedent browser dialog:
- Click on the "Re-check document" button to rerun the antecedent check. This could be done, for example, after making edits to the document to correct the issues. Clicking this button will re-run the reports with the same options as originally selected.
- You can also quickly export the identified issued to HTML, PDF, or Word formats by clicking on any of the above buttons. Clicking on these buttons will not re-run the proofreading check, so the report generation will be fast.
- 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.
- 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.
You can also right-click on any term to bring up an option to change its parsing preferences..
- 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.
- If "Highlight selected issues" 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:
- By clicking this button, you will open the parsing preferences window