I have a claim like this.

1. A method for ....., the method comprising:

        providing X for a user;

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the user was instructed to do X

The claim 2 contains the word "was". Is the claim 2 valid?

Note: The word "was" makes more sense than "is" in my situation. That's why I'm asking this question.

1 Answer 1


I have seen it from time to time, I personally do not like it because I do not know how that would be interpreted in case of litigation, but there are granted patents with past tenses in the claims, so apparently it should be OK. My preference is to draft that as a further normal step of the method, e.g. 2. The method of claim 1, further comprising instructing the user to do X prior to the providing step.

Note that in your proposal you are not really limiting to a sequence of the steps (when was the user instructed?) even if it would be common sense that the instruction is given prior to the provision of X.

  • Your advise make sense. I'll go with the extra step. Thanks Aug 19, 2019 at 9:56

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