Claims in Issued Patents


The chart above shows the average and median number of claims in issued patents, grouped by issue week. The median count is a 20-week moving average.  As you can see, over the past seven years, the number of claims-per-patent has dropped significantly. The average is almost always above the median and that difference is largely driven by outlier applications with large claim counts. However, that gap has shrunk in recent years and I expect that trend to continue as the PTO further increases the costs associated with "jumbo" patents.  These days, many applicants will choose two patents over one large patent. 

7 thoughts on “Claims in Issued Patents

  1. 6

    But the EPO allows multiply dependent claims, and multiply dependent claims that depend on other multiply dependent claims, both without extra claim fees, so it is possible to specifically cover many variations of dependency within 15 claims in a way that simply cannot be done in the US without inordinate cost.

  2. 5

    Or as clients are willing to pay less, the prosecutors just take what is allowed.

    I had one Japanese client that didn’t want to pay for me to modify whatever was allowed. I would just fold in what was allowed and that was what they got.

  3. 3

    Makes one pay attention if you have allowed dependent claims. Amending them into independent form can cost you a fee for adding an additional indepedent claims.

    As Les, I think it was he, said, “This is …” Well, this is polite company, after all.

  4. 2

    Pure coincidence, no doubt, that for a good few years now, EPO fees kick in at 15 claims.

    However, when the EPO sees this chart, it might want to cite it as some sort of confirmation of its assertion many years ago, that you do not really need more than 15 claims to cover your bog standard, common or garden, average invention.

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