Both, the European Patent Office and the German Patent and Trade Mark Office request that reference numbers be inserted into the claims. We have a software tool for inserting reference numbers into claims. Consequently, inserting reference numbers into claims by our software tool is comprised in our basic filing fee for a patent application or utility model application. This saves one to two attorney hours at the beginning of the prosecution stage or the filing of a utility model in a typical case.
The software tool is particularly helpful when applicants have German or European follow-up patent applications filed for US or US-style first filings, whose claims do not comprise reference numbers.
Our software tool analyzes the description. We cannot guarantee that all inserted reference numbers are correct. However, we believe that it is cost-effective to have the examiner review the reference numbers in a first round and we correct the errors, if any.
The software tool also creates lists of reference numbers. So it is useful for drafting patent applications, too.