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What Needs to be Included in a Patent Application?

Intellectual property diagramSo you’ve decided to file a patent. That’s a big step and that means you’re ready to show the world what you’ve created and hopefully make some big money. You’ve made great strides in getting to this point and now it’s time to file your patent application. Yes, it may seem daunting and overwhelming, but if you do your homework and seek guidance when necessary, you’ll be fine.

Here are the basic elements to a patent application:

  1. Bibliographic aspect: This section is quite structured and specific. It contains the title of the invention, date of filing, country of filing, inventor’s name and residence, correspondence address, any U.S. government agencies with a property interest in the application and the name and registration number of an attorney or agent and docket number, if applicable.
  1. Background of the invention: In this section, the inventor lists the state of the art available on the date of filing the invention. The inventor lists the shortcomings/drawbacks found in the in the invention, and then defines the problem.
  1. 3. Description of the invention: This section describes the invention duly supported by a series of workable examples, along with diagrams/charts, if needed. The invention has to be described in complete detail, so that any person, who is skilled in the art, can work out the invention.
  1. Claims: Lastly, the inventor has to bring out a series of claims establishing his rights over the invention. It is this information upon which the protection is granted and not on the description of the invention. This has to be carefully drafted. Guidance from an attorney is always of value.

Filing Date

Once you have successfully completed your patent application and included the necessary elements, your application will be granted a filing date by the USPTO. This date is dependent on the following criteria:

  • The provisional application only when it contains a written description of the invention, complying with all requirements
  • A filing date will be granted whether drawings are included or not; however, a drawing cannot be introduced into an application after the filing date because of the prohibition against mew matter and amendments are not allowed in provisional applications which are not required to comply with the patent statue and all applicable regulations

In some aspects, filing a patent may seem simple; however, it can be equally challenging especially if you don’t do your homework. If you have questions, always speak to someone knowledgeable in this area. It will save you time and money in the end.