Can I use ratios as measurements on a patent? How? 6 Answers as of May 12, 2015

I am developing a product that is contingent on the slight size variations of a preexisting product. Is it possible to use ratios as measurements in a US patent in order to preserve the essence of my design as it is applied to these various preexisting product sizes? (e.g. measurement "A" of my product is equal to .9 : 1 of measurement "A" on the preexisting product)

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Eminent IP, P.C.
Eminent IP, P.C. | Paul C. Oestreich
It is quite common to use ratios of components in composition of matter (chemical) patent claims. So, there is nothing inherently wrong with you doing so. The question that comes to mind is whether you are trying to claim some composition of matter that is novel and nonobvious over the what others have done (the prior art). If you are simply trying to claim "slight variations" over prior art ratios of components, you will likely be rejected under obviousness if not anticipation grounds. Accordingly, you should consult with a patent attorney to discuss your inventive composition of matter and how it differs from the prior art. If your composition of matter lacks novelty or obvious in view of what others did before you, you will not obtain a patent.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 5/12/2015
Microtechnology Law & Analysis | Daniel Flamm
The answer is yes, but this response is not a judgement on whether you product/idea is inventive or not.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2015
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Yes, you can use ratios to describe your invention as long as the ratio relates to the invention and not just the drawing/description.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 5/11/2015
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
Yes, the example you gave may be acceptable, but generally it is better to provide a range, like a ratio be weight of element A to B of between 1 : 9 and 3 : 8. It could also be described by a volume consisting of between 10% and 25%. Look at patent 9,023,830 for a possible example of a recently issued patent that claims ratios, size, quantity ranges.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/11/2015
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
Sure. This is done all the time. But if you are drafting this patent application without a patent lawyer, you are doomed to failure. This is because use of ratios or other such measurements in drafting patent claims and specifications requires considerable skill and expertise. Failure to use a patent lawyer is suicidal.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/11/2015
    Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
    Most likely - No. Your invention must the new, useful and not obvious in view of what is known - the so-called prior art. In your case - the preexisting product is likely the closest prior art. Is your invention more than a minor (obvious) concept based on the prior art ? Or is your invention a major (unexpected & not obvious) concept - very different from the prior art? The difference of 0.9 A (yours) vs. 1.0 A (prior art) - does not sound like it would be not obvious. But - I could be wrong. Good Luck!
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/11/2015
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