What is Element References?
An important aspect of patent applications is consistency. Referring to items with the same name or in the same way throughout the document is important to clarity. When making references to drawings within your patent application, this is equally important. The Element References feature in Microsystems Patent Companion helps with the consistency of references to drawings.
Each reference is made to an element of the drawing; basically specific aspects of the drawing are called out and defined. Each element is numbered in the diagram and that number is used to refer back to it later in the text, for example, the illumination system 311. The illumination system is the element you are referring to in the diagram, and 311 is element reference.
The Patent Companion Element References feature scans your patent application for references and flags those with the same element reference number, but different noun phrasing preceding the number. In a recent scanning of patent applications, Element References found references to both illumination system 311 and illumination source 311. This introduces some ambiguity in your patent application and leaves you vulnerable to challenges on your patent. Use Element References to navigate to these instances and mark for review.
Just to be clear, it is important to be clear, and the Element References feature from Microsystems Patent Companion helps you achieve that goal.