How to Write a Patent: Everything You Need to Know
Patent claims are difficult to write down because of peculiar format guidelines required by the Patent Office. 10 min read
How to Write a Patent
If you want to know how to write a patent, know that the price of hiring a legal professional to draft patent software can push some inventors out of the market, so you can choose to do nothing or attempt to invest on your own to pursue your invention and desires. Inventors who are going to draft their very own patent application must understand that the ensuing patent can be better if a legal professional drafted it, as there are various issues that must be addressed to ensure proper filing.
Those who are unable to pay a legal professional to draft and file a patent have to learn and expand their potential to achieve a modestly profitable outcome. Patent claims are difficult to write down because of peculiar format guidelines required by the Patent Office. The U.S. Supreme Court has on many occasions mentioned how troublesome it is to draft and finally receive a patent. Most inventors ought to ensure that you include proper disclosure and all mandatory elements to follow these guidelines.
Drafting Your Claims
First, draft a declaration that describes the broadened terms of your invention, leaving out all pointless ideas. Second, draft another declaration that defines your invention more specifically and considers various possibilities. It doesn't matter that the claims are not written in a proper format, as the Patent Office will later require you to follow a specific format. In the preliminary submitting stage, what is most important is that claims are current and have applicable scope, with some being broad and others specific. By writing these two claims, you'll “bookend” your invention. That means you have a very broad and generic model of your invention in addition to the extremely specified one.
When writing a declaration, you will need to describe the structure of the assorted elements and the way in which they work together. It's necessary to fully explain the invention, show that it really works, and show that it is different from other prior works.
Figuring out the "invention" in view of the prior work is not a simple process. Think about, for instance, the new pop-tops on soda, beer, and different cans. A few years back, soda and beer cans had pop-tops that truly popped off, but had sharp edges, triggering accidents. They were often discarded into lakes and streams, killing fish and different animals. When an individual presented the concept of a pop-top that did not pop off, he had a specific mechanism in mind. However, the actual contribution went beyond a specific mechanism or a set of mechanisms. The "invention" fundamentally considered conserving a pop-top on a can, and the invention should have been presented accordingly.
When you draft a declaration, you should begin with something like this:
Content: Record the elements one after another and then clarify how they are related. For instance, "Sandwich content: 2 slices of toast, butter and jam, whereby the butter is spread on 1 slice of toast and the jam is spread on the opposite piece of toast after which the 2 slices of toast are put together so that the butter and jam are touching."
In one declaration, you need to describe the invention with various possibilities. For instance: “The sandwich with additional contents: onions, pickles, avocado, and fluff that could be placed between the butter and jam.” One of the best ways to go about writing a claim is to simply begin writing and then adding components to the invention to outline particular variations to see whether the items and elements that are being added have been launched correctly and describe your invention as you pictured it.
- A shovel: An elongated object with a primary finish and a secondary finish, a shovel head, that is hooked up to the stated first finish of elongated object.
In dependent claims, you construct a declaration that specifies the object. For instance:
- The inventor declares an additional component comprising a grip around stated second finish of stated elongated object.
- The inventor declares the grip is made from rubber.
You'll be able to add claims to explain how the objects are hooked together. Examples can be:
- The inventor declares the ax head is attached to stated elongated object with a bolt through the neck of the ax head.
In this instance, we wished to examine the neck to clarify the place and the way in which the bolt connects the ax head with the object. Sadly, we have not launched the neck as a component and referring to it as “stated neck” tells the patent examiner that we're referring to something that has already been launched. Thus, if we wanted to add this declaration, we should change the declaration as follows:
- An ax: an elongated object with a primary finish and a second finish and an ax head, which is made up of a neck widening into a blade; whereby stated ax head is hooked up to stated first finish of stated elongated object.
Patent Application Guidelines and Tips
The sections of the patent that give the boundary of the patent protection are the claims sections. These claims will form your legal basis for what is covered by the patent. These limits and definitions let others know what intellectual property is being protected and what would be infringing on your rights. Since the claims are a vital part of defining your patents, it is often best to seek professional help in this area.
When you write your patent claim, there are three sections that need to be considered.
Gaining a patent and inventing a product is not easy. Only 60 percent of applications received will become patents. And of that percentage, only 20 percent will go to market, and only half of those applications will make money back on the invention. This results in about 6 percent of all patent applications resulting in profit.
Situation Where A Patent May Have No Value
Patents may hold no value if they are filed before the technology exists that can prove they are worth anything. Additionally, some patent investments are wasted. An inventor could spend thousands of dollars on a patent and within the first two years want to sue someone who has infringed. But in the case of a broad patent with many claims, there can be numerous holes in the patent, resulting in competitors being able to recreate a product using several minor changes.
There are also cases where inexperienced patent attorneys take on a patent case without understanding exactly how broad the subject matter is that the patent claims, or simply fail to judge the value of technology. A good attorney will be able to judge technology that is worth pursuing.
Important Characteristics of a Patent
The main criteria that are important when drafting your patent are that the claims are:
Each claim must be its own sentence and should be clear enough that the reader does not have to speculate the claim. Signs that your claim may not be clear enough include having to add verbiage to clarify it such as:
- Major part
- Such as
- When required
Not only does each claim have to identify any innovative features of the invention but the elements that put the claim in context. Most of the support for the claim will come in the description section so that the claim can be fully explained.
The structure of a claim sentence will include:
- Introductory phase - This phrase will introduce the invention and at times the purpose of the invention.
- The body of the claim - This is the legal description detailing the exact ideas that are being protected.
- A link that joins the two - This section will discuss how the body and introductory phrases are linked. This section is important for how restrictive or permissive a patent is.
When completing a patent application, the application will include these primary sections.
- Priority Claim
- Brief Description of Drawing
- Detailed Description
- Abstract and Drawing
While the patent application will be drafted in the order above, the claims section will often be the first drafted as it is the most important part of the invention patent and will be the basis for the rest of the application. When being drafted by an attorney, having the claims laid out will let them know what to focus on.
If the claims are not written first, the patent attorney will not know the most vital details and may end up adding much irrelevant information to make sure they cover everything. Writing the claims first can also guide the direction of the drawings so you will not have to pay for the drafting of unnecessary figures.
Claims can also be the most important section when filing for a foreign patent as many countries will limit the number of claims or charge additional fees for excess pages or claims. If you have too many, you may also have to pay your patent attorney to draft your application again when seeking a foreign patent on the same item.
Tricks & Tips to Describe an Invention in a Patent Application
One of many issues that inventors face when trying to describe an invention is what the regulation refers to as “different embodiments of the invention,” or just “different embodiments.” The phrase “embodiment” in a patent software or issued patent refers to a couple of specific models of the invention.
Many inventors do not notice that they have more than just one model of their invention, which can be a huge issue. If you don't describe something, then it isn't part of your invention. For instance, if you describe an invention as always having components A + B + C + D, and subsequently someone presents almost identical invention but leaves D (or any of the other components) out, he/she would not be infringing because the invention was described too narrowly.
The invention is your work, so it is not shocking that almost all inventors can (with sufficient effort) clarify what they view as the perfect model of the invention, what the regulation refers to as the “most popular embodiment.” It's important to consider external fields while you describe an invention in any patent software. You don't wish to simply describe the perfect model of your invention; instead, you want to describe alternative models of the invention that may work, regardless of how crudely.
Inventors have to consider different ways in which their invention could be made or used, even those that are deemed inferior. Failure to include alternatives will lead to them not being protected by your disclosure, which can stop any issued patent from protecting these undefined variations. You have probably invented something significant, and there can be numerous people and firms making an attempt to capitalize on what you could have created.
Economics 101 teaches that if you're earning money, there can be market entrants that search to steal your small business so no extra entrants to the market would earn cash. Appropriately describing the invention and its variations can make it tougher for opponents to encroach your market and pressure them to compete with what are hopefully clearly inferior services or products.
When you dismiss variations or different and distinctive embodiments, then you're leaving these to the people and/or corporations that will search to capitalize on a product that is like the one you invented that is not specifically protected by your patent. Inventors in many situations begin with a provisional patent.
Before you finalize your provisional patent, or if you're working with a patent legal professional or patent agent before you finalize the information you present to them, it's best to revisit your written declaration and ask yourself whether you're utilizing any terminology in the field. Every time, ask yourself whether experts in the discipline can understand them. If the person does have a generally understood idea, that means within the business it's completely important that you simply use it to imply what others within the business understand it to means.
Whereas the patent legal guidelines do state that the patentee could be his or her personal bookkeeper, it is not necessary to have so much autonomy. The specifics of your invention (i.e., written description) should contain the glossary for the invention to explain and outline any phrases or ideas so that everybody understands all aspects of the project without ambiguity.
Enablement Requirement and Artwork
It is important that you evaluate whether you have included enough details about your invention. To ensure the validity of the patent, the invention has to have an enabling disclosure. This requirement, called the enablement requirement, guarantees that the patent specifications clearly describe how to make and use your invention. This is often known as the quid pro quo of patent regulation. The federal government will grant a patent along with unique rights for a restricted time for the inventor to clarify how to make and use the invention covered by the patent. This requirement ensures that when the patent expires, the general public will have sufficient data to make and use the invention without having to obtain the data from the inventor.
To meet the enablement requirement, you should describe all aspects of your invention that would clarify how to make and use it, provide an overview of the image as a whole followed by the description of its parts, and explain how all the parts of your invention perform and interrelate collectively. One of the best approaches is to include high-quality patent drawings that would offer a detailed description of a wide range of variations and different embodiments.
The patent legal guidelines require the patent applicant to furnish a minimum of one drawing of the invention to grasp the invention. The one actual exception is when you find yourself claiming a chemical compound or technique; however, even with a technique, you may discover that it is a good idea to include drawings to depict each function of the invention specified within the claims. To take advantage of the submission date, a patent must fully cover the invention and all permutations as of the time of filing the application.
You'll be able to file a provisional patent software without drawings, but it could be a big mistake since drawings actually are worth a thousand words. Although you can get non-provisional patent software to secure the submission date of your invention without using a drawing, it does not imply that drawings are not required. Sadly, since you cannot add disclosure after you file a non-provisional patent software, it is possible that you will be prevented from submitting drawings after your non-provisional submission date, which may, in the end, compromise the disclosure and increase the procedural cost, which might lead to the abandonment of a brand new patent.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has continuously modified the decisions regarding the disclosure of the artwork at the time of applying for a patent. When you take away one thing out of the written disclosure, the drawings you submit could convey nuanced details about your invention; therefore, prime quality skilled illustrations rather than novice sketches should be included. In many circumstances, the Patent Office will settle for novice sketches; however, given the comparatively low value of getting skilled drawings ($75 to $150 a page) and given the far better element in an expert illustration, you're actually doing yourself a disservice to those who do not have skilled illustrations on the time of submission.
If you need help with how to write a patent, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.