Patent drafting is not listed in the help page, so does a question about drafting the belong here? Or should it be taken to Legal or English?

The question I want to ask is that, regarding a sentence saying "A includes a B, at least one C, and at least one D", if "a" and "at least one" would be taken as equivalent.

In regard to "Specific aspects or interpretations of a particular patent claim", such a question may be relevant. However, what if the sentence is not part of the claim but part of the background/summary/detailed description?


I found an answer I need at English.

I did a wild-card text search at Google Patents and it's apparent that the text pattern "comprising a A and at least one B" is fairly common.

I also downloaded bulk data between 1/5~1/19/2016 (>1GB, uncompressed) and did regular expression text search. I found many matches for the pattern "comprising/including a A... at least one B" (anywhere) and "comprising a A" (claim text only), but no match for "comprising/including one A...".

Evidently "one" should be avoided.

2 Answers 2


For my part, I would think that this could fall under "US patent law", which is explicitly on-topic. That is, the meaning of particular phrase in a patent specification is determined by the applicable patent law principles, and therefore relates to the application of (US) patent law.

In any case, I would hope that such questions are on-topic. I think they have the potential to lead to quite interesting and practical answers.


I would consider that on-topic for us here.

I don't think we lose the spirit of the "interpretations" point just because we move to another part of a patent application. The goal of it is to help people understand the scope of a patent or application, which certainly depends heavily on the claims, but if our community is well-suited to handle the question (and we are), I think asking about specifications or descriptions is fine.

Of course, like anything, there will be versions of this that are okay and versions that aren't. Always be careful of the standard pitfalls (subjectivity, lack of details, all that). Just like English Language won't write a full novel, Stack Overflow won't write a full application, and Law won't defend you in court, our community won't write a patent application for you. This is a generic paragraph I just pin on for safety, but I think your example would be fine.

  • Thanks for the answer. I found my answer and edit the post accordingly. I don't want to duplicate the question unless it's useful as a community wiki page.
    – daniel
    Mar 1, 2016 at 2:28

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