Patent claims define the boundaries of an invention and are meant to state with clarity what the patent protects. Having clearly constructed claims also proves valuable during infringement assertions. These well-known guidelines should be at the forefront of the patent practitioner’s mind when drafting solid-form claims. Patent attorneys practicing in the chemical arts use two primary methods of claiming chemical compounds. The first method relies on chemical nomenclature to describe a claimed chemical compound. Take for example, the drug Wakix® (U.S. Patent No. 7,169,928), in which the active ingredient, pitolisant, is claimed to reference its chemical name without drawing a corresponding structure. The second method claims the drawn chemical structure of a compound. Of course, there are intermediate ways to claim chemical compounds where both names and structure are used to define the scope — especially with genus and sub-genus claims.

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