In a software invention, if you describe two or more aspects of the invention. Are those aspects referred to as methods or they are defined as the method of the invention which cannot be divided. Referring to my previous client/server abstract invention. Where both the client and server are part of the invention. Can the client be described as method and the server be described as another method? Or must I describe them as a single method then say they are two components. I guess what I am asking is, are methods divided or single in an invention.


  • Could you link the previous example?
    – user18033
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:40
  • I edited it into the question to make reading and accessing all information easier (we try to keep the site's QA style where every question should stand on it's own. Of course that doesn't mean repeating information where not necessary, but nobody wants to search comments or your profile for older questions) .
    – user18033
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 11:30

1 Answer 1


In this case, it is largely up to you. There is no "right" answer.

Everything that follows is my favoured approach (which I am somewhat reluctant to post due to it being almost purely opinion). I should note that others may rightfully disagree.

That said, it seems to me best practice to describe each method separately. That is, your description might be:

Figure 1 is a sequence diagram showing a method performed between a client and a server. At event 101, …

Figure 2 shows a method performed at a client. At step 201, …

Figure 3 shows a method performed at a server. At step 301, …

For completeness, you would also tend to describe the hardware performing the methods.

Figure 4 shows a system 40 comprising client 41 and server 42 … In some embodiments, system 40 may operate according to the method of Figure 1. …

Figure 5 shows a client 41 in accordance with an aspect of the invention. … In some embodiments, client 41 may perform the method of Figure 2.…

Figure 6 shows a server 42 in accordance with an aspect of the invention. … In some embodiments, server 42 may perform the method of Figure 3.…

The key reasons for separating these out are clarity and basis. By making these painfully explicit, you are making the invention as clear as possible. Moreover, for jurisdictions which are touchy on basis (such as the EPO), you are providing a strong basis in the description for a claim directly solely to the method performed at the client etc.

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