Claiming the invention is the first step in the process to design the product, the broadest claim directs the path into the design of subject matter. An element in a claim for a combination may be expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function without the recital of structure, material, or acts in support thereof, and such claim shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof.
Below is the broadest claim for the product of our Manmotor project.
I claim a mechanical machine made of wheels, pulleys, and belts that are all intended to rotate together from the effort provided from a human being, and a supprt framework capable of supporting these elements safely while in their dynamic operational form.
I claim a result of electrical energy, hydrogen and oxygen that is stored in elements of storage, and a method to achieve that accumulation of useable electrical energy and gas.
Now thats absolutely as simple as the inventor can get regarding the invention described, and is precisely what your patent attorney will need also, when he or she is writing the Patent Application Draft. Remember this is not the Provisional Patent Draft but the claims that the inventor begins to design the product around and can be used again when writing the provisional patent submission.
This is about it for the claim issues for now, the reason this needs to be done is for the inventor to clearly understand in it's simplest terms what he or she is actually interpreting the invention to be.
Many inventors verbally claim what they are anticipating to have as a device, product, or invention to others. Inventions are thoughts to most inventors and creative people. There is a saying that "it's the thought that counts" and that is true in this inventors awareness. So most creative people think an idea into a pictorial device invention. The image looks real as the inventor builds each peice in his or her mind while contemplating how to achieve the claims of the invention. The feature claims of the anticipated product of the invention process have been written in our inventors project notebook by now.
We know as the inventors what we have imagined that our product features need to be, to become an advancement within the art form of our invention, and become welcomed as a product that sells easily to others. We as inventors have deduced the elements that will comprise the invention and allow the invention to acheive the functions that will perform the product features to be produced as claimed, and that the inventor has drawn a rough sketch including the elements of subject matter. Also the inventor has deduced by this point in the invention process the subject matter that is to become the inventive subject matter of the invention. The inventor concludes the inventive subject matter based from experience or a knowledge base in the field and classification of his or her invention.
Referring to Fig.1, the embodiment of the machine drawn is to example the present invention, the Manmotor. This machine is a compilation of eight forms of subject matter, any one of the art forms missing would prevent this machine from accomplishing what I am claiming in the broadest claim as to what the invention is. This invention is a machine to produce electrical energy, it is powered by a human being and it uses a kinetic energy recovery system, the kinetic energy is a result of a liquid balanced rotating wheel, the energy is recovered in bits through electromagnetic induction over an extended period of time.
The individual art forms (subject matter) within the embodiment exhibited in FIG. 1 are now broken down into individual functioning parts important to make the invention perform and have the ability to accomplish the feature claims of the invention in whole.
We now have identified three types of claims that all have important parts in the invention process, first there were the feature claims of the existing prior art reviewed, and then the inventor decided what the feature claims needed to be with his or her new invention in order to "compete"within the sales and distribution of the new invention classification and the fields of subject matter written down in the inventors project notebook. The next claim or claim two was the claim based from the broadest sketch and briefly claimed the entire invention product in whole claiming only the end results along with reciting general elements. The third claims of the invention are individual claims written on in the inventors notebook as the inventive subject matter of the invention.
So the first item we have completed is to classify the invention within a class of inventions and then we have drawn a concept sketch of what we interpret our invention to contain and from that; deduced out the subject matter to identify the fields that particular subject matter most closely pertains to in operation and function. Next we have reread the text in the inventors project notebook that had been written on from the research completed and the inventor has come up with the broadest claim of the invention.
Below text is more technical regarding claim writing, I felt it should be included at this time regarding writing the broadest claim of the invention. Thanks to John R. Flanagan, a retired patent attorney for his permission in allowing me to use his definitions and explanations that can be read upon in his book How To Prepare Patent Applications.
Regarding the broadest claim Flanagan states that; the first thing we should consider is what might be the principal or esential elements of a broad apparatus claim.
Our exampled invention Manmotor has 7 principal elements and referring to FIG.1:
(1) frame- base #11 (2) 1 large wheel on frame- driven member/drive member #1 (3) 1 smaller wheel on frame- drive member #4 (4) 1 smaller wheel on frame- driven/drive member #6 (5) 1 smaller wheel- drive member #9 (6) alternator- driven member #8 (7) linear actuator- adjuster #10.
Flanagan states that; from claim drafting rule 2 we know that the principal elements are those parts of the invention which are considered essential within the framework of the scope desired for the claim being drafted. Thus, if a broad claim is being drafted, we should concentrate on the minimum number of elements felt necessary to define an operative invention.
RULE TWO : The principal elements of a claim must be set forth or introduced positively or directly.
Flanagan states that; this means all principal elements must be positively or directly recited before they can be recited indirectly or inferentially. Thus in drafting a claim one should not refer to a principal element indirectly, until it has been set forth directly or positively.
For example our invention has 5 wheels, a base frame support, belt adjusters, and an alternator. There may be many more elements as the project continues but for now the broadest claim is important to make. So we should introduce first the framework, before introducing the alternator.
A good example would be a base structure supporting a driven wheel, driving a combination of wheels mounted on the base framework generating electrical energy using an alternator.
A bad example would be an electrical alternator propelled by a drive member mounted upon the base frame.
For now our only claim to concentrate on is the broadest claim for our invention. Please note on FIG.1 that the subject matter or elements were drawn and numbered in a sequence of subject matter importance to the inventor. On your invention you know as the creator the bottom line expected that the product will perform. So in the case of the Manmotor I know that without building wheel 1 there is no use to go further. None of the other subject matter is critical if that wheel 1 is not built. Building the invention is very important but at this point in the invention process we are simply building the device on paper from the though. It is very important that the inventor of a product draws the individual pieces of the elements comprising the invention in whole and then assembles them into the rough sketch. In our example FIG.1 shows what an experienced inventor ends up with in his or her drawings primarily to identify inventive subject matter anticipated to complete the idea into a 3 dimensional invention. These types of drawings come from auto cad or solid works so an inventor engineering daily needs to have learned how to use drafting programs that have the ability to make scaled drawings. It makes the invention process condence down to a one year project from start to completion so it's a real time saver to learn how to use modern drafting programs. For example a print out of a figure scaled will allow the printout to be measured precisely or any one element or component of the invention anticipated. If the dimension is known for any component and in our example we will use the wheel one in FIG.1 then sizing can be simply a percentage calculation. That wheel is actually 51" in diameter so if the printout is a 2" wheel then divide 2 into 51 and that ends up as the ratio of calculation. The example would look like 51 / 2 = 25.5 to one, one inch on the paper would equal 25.5" creating the real part. There are many advantages to drawing in scale but for the first sketch to identify subject matter and make invention feature claims and the broadest claim of the invention hand drawings will do.
It is necessary for the inventor to build his or her invention within the mind and visualize the invention at work and performing the feature claims. When creating inventions perceptions and variables become design parameters and eventually form the invention. Imperative is to understand completely at this point in the invention process that your paperwork becomes the backbone of your invention process. Before any machine work or building the 'prototype' begins the inventor must know precisely his or her invention and how it is to operate. Many times over and over the inventor has to rethink assembly of the invention and what components or subject matter needs to be included to perform the basic feature claims set forth by the inventor after preliminary review of the prior art. If you as an inventor are having a difficult time in figuring out what general components are needed to produce the invention anticipated use the 'dream method'. The dream method to me is simply producing the thought of a situation whereas the invention is working but now how do I make this particular piece, it is confusing so now ask yourself just before going to sleep the question of how am I going to solve this small variable here. When you awake you will have more ideas come to possibility. The human mind works well at night while dreaming on subjects of non completion during the previous day. It is imperative to write down in your inventors project notebook details regarding the work performed the previous day and a time date signature by the inventor at each entry. This daily process will keep the inventive thought process progressing the invention itself, once the thought is written down more inventive ideas regarding how to accomplish the claims of the invention you are working on becomes evident from possibilities in thought.
The example here with the Manmotor is created totally within the mind, going directly into the hand holding a pen, an expensive pen. The writing goes easier and ideas flow faster when a good easy rolling pen is used. A novice engineer or inventor knows not the differences in creative thought and translating them into tanigble works. The entire success of the invention revolves around creative writing, creative thought, and a flow of ideas. Not writing those down as they come will slow down and possibly stop the inventive creations that will allow your invention to become the better advancement within the art your invention will finally end up as.