Can one claim of the patent have greater impact (legally/commercially) than the whole patent?
Example: Let's imagine we want to apply for a patent of certain hydroponic system. Claim 1 describes the container design. Claim 2 uses certain material as growing medium. That material itself is not novel and is known for many decades, but it seemingly has not yet been used as hydroponic medium.
The whole patent (claim 1 and 2) seemingly protect very specific hydroponic system, while claim 2 alone might prevent all possible hydroponic systems from using that material which is much more general and has much greater impact legally and commercially.
- Can such scenarios indeed happen in general?
- Is a hydroponic growing medium patentable (for all possible hydroponic systems)?
- If yes, - are there any advantages of patenting the growing medium with a separate patent?