An element in an independent claim reads: a plurality of widgets

Since everything I've read says you MUST refer to "said plurality of widgets" or "the plurality of widgets"...

Also, if you may refer to "said widgets" without "plurality of" please correct me.

How do you refer to ONE instance of the widget?

Is it "said widget?" Is it "each of said plurality of widgets?" Or something altogether?


1 Answer 1


“at least one of said plurality of widgets“

“At most one of ....“

“exactly one of ...“

“each of ...“

“any of ... “

Or whatever else conveys the same meaning. There is no patent English, just regular English which must be used with precision and a few terms that have become popular because there is only a limited number of ways of saying something.

You could refer to “said widgets“ but I wouldn't because it's unclear if you mean some or all of them. And being unclear is in most cases a bad thing.

  • I was going to down-vote this answer because "Patent-ese" is anything BUT Regular English. Just kidding. The choice of wording must reflect "any of the widgets, individually", "one or more of the widgets, selected randomly", "the first widget", "the last widget" -- this is what should be conveyed by the selected words. The language sounds like it does because it's more precise and concise (yes, really!) than "you could pick one or more of the widgets for the operation, and that would be okay." Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 23:20
  • 1
    @JulieinAustin well, I guess it's just as much "regular" English as a scalpel is a "regular" knife.
    – user18033
    Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 7:52

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