An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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4.7.8 Claims shall be clearly defined

Article 26 paragraph 4 of the Patent Law provides the following: “The claims shall be based on the description, and clearly and concisely define the scope of protection conferred by the patent.”

Article 7 of the Provisions on Patent Grant and Confirmation stipulates the following:

Where, based on the description and drawings attached, a person skilled in the relevant field of technology is of the opinion that the claims fall under any of the following circumstances, the people’s court shall determine that the claims fail to comply with the provisions of paragraph 4, Article 26 of the Patent Law on clearly defining the scope of patent protection:
  1. (1) The type of subject matter of the invention is not specified;
  2. (2) The meaning of technical features in the claims cannot be reasonably determined; and
  3. (3) There are evident contradictions between technical features, and such contradictions cannot be reasonably explained.

That the claims should be clear means, first, that each claim should be clear and, second, that all the claims should be clear as a whole.