I am describing a modification of an existing optimizing algorithm as part of a method claim, and wish to avoid describing the details of the existing algorithm.

What is the correct format for citing the technical publication where the existing algorithm is described?

Is the format "Title of Article", Author A and Author B, as published in Proceedings of This and That, May 2109?

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Discuss this with your patent attorney. Different patent offices are likely to have different forms of preferred citation.


If I am understanding your question correctly, you are wanting to put a citation to a publication directly in the language of the claim. In the US, that would likely get a rejection from the US Patent Office for failing to properly and fully describing the invention. If that is what you are truly trying to do, I would suggest defining the algorithm in the Detailed Specification of the patent (such as "the XYZ algorithm is hereby defined as the (fully describe the algorithm) as cited in the "Title of Article", Author A and Author B, as published in Proceedings of This and That, May 2109". Then simply use the name as you have defined it ("said XYZ algorithm") in the claim language.

One practice point is never use the term "algorithm" in your patent application. It opens up an automatic rejection for most patent examiners as most consider "algorithms" to be abstract ideas and as such unpatentable subject matter. You can use "method" or "process" instead.

As to the actual format of a citation to a publication, the US Patent Office describes how to format citations to various references for Information Disclosure Statements at MPEP 707.05(e) http://www.bitlaw.com/source/mpep/707_05_e.html This is indicative that it would be suitable for use in the patent application itself, although probably not required.

"> (E) For periodical articles:

Noyes, W. A. A Climate for Basic Chemical Research

Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 38, no. 42 (Oct. 17, 1960), pp. 91-95. TP1.I418."

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