I want to state that the clasping system in my invention can be used in any size of enclosure. Specifically, I have doubts between using the words: "may" or "is"

2 examples:

"enclosure may be realized in any of a continuous range of sizes large enough to comprise a void no smaller in size and shape than said first fastener part and said device..."


"enclosure is/may be inconstantly/variably sized..."

2 Answers 2


If size is irrelevant to the functioning and use of the enclosure in its broadest sense, the broadest claim can and should be silent on size. The broadest claim should only pin down the aspects of the invention that make it novel and non-obvious.

  • Your last sentence is confusing.
    – Eric S
    Sep 13, 2018 at 14:36
  • and wrong - I removed it
    – George White
    Sep 14, 2018 at 17:18

If you say “is“ it could be interpreted as

The device is always like that.

Therefore, unless that's what you want to say, go with “may“ because it makes sure it is understood that this is no mandatory feature.

And additionally, make sure to give examples of preferred sizes like

it may be bigger than said first fastener part, preferably twice as big, more preferably 5 times as big but preferably at the highest 15 times as big, more preferably only 10 times .... etc.

Rule of thumb: always include at least 3 preferred examples in any given range. You never know what you'll need. (Focussing on the de facto preferred embodiment of course).

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