Thursday, August 29, 2013, 10:01 AM

Shortest US Patent Claim?

For trivia fans, how many words does the shortest US patent claim have?  Ten words?  Five words?  How about two words.  US 3,156,523, filed August 23, 1946, inventor Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, claims “1.  Element 95”.  Also, US 3,164,462, filed February 7, 1949, inventor Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, claims “1.  Element 96”.  What is unusual about these is that an element (i.e., an element on the periodic table) would not normally be patentable, as this would be considered a product of nature and therefore excluded as subject matter that is ineligible for patenting.  In US 3,156,523, Dr. Seaborg discloses how to produce his new element.

I have heard a rumor that there is a US patent with a claim of but a single word, but have been unable to verify this.  Dear readers, do you have any patent numbers that support this?

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