Total Words in Claim One (1) Field Code (ANA_FCLM_TW)

If you want to find patents with a long or short claim 1 (the first claim), use the ANA_FCLM_TW field code.

Length of claim 1 is one of the most important and useful value indicators.  Parents with short claims tend to have far fewer limitations than patents with long, rambling claims.  Many ex patent examiners will tell you that short claims are particularly scrutinized for fear that the claim may be overly broad.

For the sake of comparison, in 2013, the median length of claim 1 was 156 words.


  • ANA_FCLM_TW:20  -->  Finds patents with exactly 20 words in claim 1 (there are more than you might think, actually).
  • ANA_FCLM_TW:[* to 100]  -->  Finds patents with 100 or fewer words in claim 1.
  • ANA_FCLM_TW:[1000 to *] -->  Finds patents with at least 1000 words in claim 1.

Note: The longest claim 1 that issued in 2013 contains 10,368 total words.  See if you can find it.

Helpful Hint:  Whenever I have to do a claims level review of patents, I first create my queries and isolate the patents that I want to read.  THEN I sort by the "Claim One (Total Words)" column (see below), with the shortest claims on top.  The reason I do this is to acclimate my brain to the language around the technology from fairly simple claims before I dive into the longer ones.  I do better work every time if I first sort by the length of claim one.

Also Note:  Many published applications have a very short claim 1.  So the value indicator is much easier to use when reviewing granted patents.

Sorting by Length of Claim 1

A column labeled "Claim 1 (Total Words)" can be displayed in your Search Results window.  It is VERY helpful to sort on this column in ascending order.  Some of the best patents have a very short claim 1.


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