The Patent Application (Part I) – Introduction
From Denver Patent Attorney Mark Trenner
When you file for a patent for an invention, the Patent Office does not issue a patent immediately. In fact, it can take several years to have a patent issue. And the Patent Office does not issue patents for all inventions. The invention must be patentable subject matter, and must be unique and non-obvious over prior inventions and other products in the public domain. But this article is not about the patent process, but rather the patent application.
To start the patent process, you must first file a patent application with the Patent Office.
A patent application is a technical document that describes your invention. The patent application includes several parts, that I will attempt to describe in this multi-part series. Keep in mind, however, that you should not attempt to write your own patent application unless you have considerable experience doing so (in which case, you are probably not reading this article).
Patent applications are best written by patent attorneys. Why? Because a patent application is more than just a technical paper that engineers and scientists are comfortable writing. A patent application must meet certain legal requirements in order for the Patent Office to grant a patent. If you get any of these requirements wrong, any patent that issues may not provide sufficient legal protection for your invention. In addition, some deficiencies cannot be corrected after the initial filing of a patent application in the Patent Office.
Instead, this article series is meant as a high-level overview of the patent application, and the different sections of a patent application, so that when you work with a patent attorney and he or she asks you to review a draft of the patent application, you will have a better understanding of what exactly it is you are looking at.