Method claim:

The server receives a request from User A containing the unique id of a professor on the server's database;

This request is stored on the database;

x) a time slot is determined for this request;

y) a room number is determined for this request;

z) a dollar amount is determined for this request;

determining if the targeted professor accepted the request;

schedule a meeting between User A and targeted professor at the determined parameters of the request.

In the method claim, would the steps x, y, and z be interpreted and therefore limited to occurring sequentially? If so, how do I modify the claim above so that the steps are interpreted to happen in any order?

2 Answers 2


Generally the order listed in the claim is not assumed to be limiting. Whether there is dependence between the steps is something the specification should ideally make clear explicitly (but it can also be implicit/inherent) and then the claim will then be interpreted in accordance with the specification.

For example, if you describe only a professor fee it might be clear that you can have y and z in any order but if the specification also describes a room fee you must presumably have y before z (unless it is assumed that all the rooms have the same fee, or some other arrangement to allow z before y).


I am not a lawyer. That said, I would interpret the claim such that steps x, y and z are not limited to that order since the steps are not written as dependent on another step.

Now as an inventor, I would leave claim writing to my lawyer. I’ve found that patent lawyers are extremely picky about how claims are worded in order to obtain robust coverage.

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