Patent description requirements are the aspects of the patent application that are required for a valid application. The patent description is meant to show a person with ability in the same field of study how to make or use the invention.

What Are the Patent Description Requirements?

The requirements for a patent description are in three main parts:

  • Enablement requirement.
  • Best mode requirement.
  • Written description requirement.

The enablement requirement says that the inventor has to describe their invention in such a way that others with skill in the same field of study are enabled to make or use the invention. The best mode requirement says that the information disclosed must provide the instructions for carrying out the creation or use of the invention in the best way the inventor knows.

Finally, the written description requirement is the place where these other requirements are carried out. The inventor provides a thorough description of the patented invention in the patent application. This application is published publicly so that others can learn from the patent.

The aspects of the written description required for a patent application submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are:

  • Invention title.
  • Cross-reference information.
  • Statements of federal sponsorship for the research of the invention.
  • Background of the invention.
  • Invention summary.
  • Description of drawings.
  • Description of the invention.
  • Sequence listing.
  • Abstract.

Title, Cross-References, Federal Sponsorship

The invention's title should clearly represent the invention in a short phrase. If there are any other patent applications that relate to this patent, you'll need to cross-reference those patents. If the inventor is claiming priority to any other provisional patent applications, reference those applications. Patent applications that continue a parent application, should also reference the parent application.

Patented inventions that had any federal sponsorship should state the nature of the sponsorship and any grant money from the government used to research the invention.

Background and Summary

Providing the background of the patent is especially important when the current patent application's intention is to become an improvement on a previous application. The summary of the invention will discuss it, in general, to give readers a basic idea of what it is. This summary will usually note any benefits of the invention and problems it might solve in its industry. Readers should understand the purpose of the patent at this point.

Descriptions of the Drawings and Invention

Include drawings in the patent application if they are necessary for the manufacturing or use of the invention. Pair any drawings included with helpful descriptions. The invention's description should make up the bulk of the patent application.

The invention's description section should give a complete explanation of the invention and how to manufacture it or put it to use properly. This section will have two main parts, the general explanation and the examples for practice.

The general explanation will show the necessary details and instructions for the invention as well as define any key terms. Whoever writes this description should make it accessible to others in the same industry. This means that explaining basic terms and processes isn't necessary, but make sure every step is clear and easy to follow.

If the writer chooses to include specific examples of use for the invention, this will help show the patentability of the invention. A collection of specific examples isn't required, but many inventors will choose to include one. This can include both working and prophetic examples. The first includes examples already tested or actually put into practice. Prophetic examples are those that could be used but haven't been completed yet.

Sequence Listing and Abstract

If a patent application includes any amino acid or nucleic acid sequences, the description must include a sequence listing. This makes sure that those who buy a license for the patented invention follow the proper process. It requires listing nucleic acids with a minimum of ten nucleotides and protein with a minimum of four amino acids in the sequence.

When preparing a patent application, making sure you follow all of the requirements is tough. To make things a little bit easier, the USPTO offers inventors the chance to download free software called Patentin to create sequence listings.

Lastly, the required abstract must go at the end of the patent application. This section includes a summary of the whole patent application.

If you need help with patent description requirements, 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.