A patent application must include provisional or complete specification with description, claims, abstract and drawings. In order to obtain a patent, the patent applicant must provide in depth information about the patent and corresponding invention. These details are known as patent specifications. A patent specification may be such that a person who is skilled in the art must be able to understand the specification. This specification may be given either partially or in complete depending upon the stage of completion of the invention. This specification is a technology driven legal document that lists out all the details of the invention making it clear to the examiner of what the patent application is about. Therefore, in order to understand the contents of the patent application, one must understand the contents of the patent specification as mentioned above. The contents of the patent specification are discussed hereinbelow.
The title of the patent invention should give a fair idea of the art of the industry or of the industry to which the invention relates. The title of the patent specification as any other title should be simple, free from ambiguity and as precise and definite as possible. This does not however indicate the details of the invention itself. Ideally the word limit of the title is 15 words. The personal details of the inventor and abbreviations of the term “patent” in English or in any other language is not allowed.
Background of the invention contains references to specific documents which are related to the invention. All the improvements that could be needed by the invention should also be mentioned in this section of the specification. Any prior art or prior patents identified should also be mentioned in the same section. A comparative analysis of the prior patent and the current invention should be discussed in this section of the specification itself.
Summary of the invention as it suggests gives out the nature and the object with which the invention was made. It includes a summarised version of the detailed description of the invention. The benefits of creating the invention are also mentioned in this section of the specification. It also includes the loopholes that were discovered in the invention during or after its creation or the ones that have existed in the prior art of the invention.
The patent specifications always accompany the patent drawings that are used to explain the patent graphically. These pictures are usually labelled numerically. These pictures describe the invention along with its specifications. These drawings are made using structures which are chemical or mechanical in nature. They also may sometimes comprise of graphs depending upon the nature of the invention.
The description of the invention is required to be furnished in sufficient detail so that the best mode of working of the invention can be disclosed to the patent office and to the general public. In addition to this the nature of the improvements or modifications to the prior art should also be clearly mentioned and described. The details of the invention should be furnished in accordance with the know-how that it is understandable to any person skilled in the art.
One of the most important aspects of the patent specification is the patent claims. In this part of the specification, all the claims that distinguish the invention from that of the others or already existing prior art needs to be clearly mentioned. The patent claims describe the patentability of the invention and gives out the scope of the invention. One of the most crucial functions of the patent claims is to define the scope of the invention. They must be supported by the invention disclosed in the descriptive part of the patent drafting. Patent claims should be mentioned on the fresh page with each patent claim mentioned separately in different points.
Generally, a patent claim is the most important part of the patent specification. It defines the extent and scope of the patent. It describes exactly what is claimed by the invention. It also lays down the extent of what is sought to be protected and what is not. A claim may be defined as a statement of technical facts expressed in the legal terms, defining the scope of the invention which is to be protected.
Another reason why patent claims become important is that they set out the scope of use of the invention. By stating the claims it clearly lays down the extent of usage by the third parties as well. The exclusive right that is granted to the patent holder is mentioned in the patent claim itself. The rest of the patent claim explains the description of the invention. Claims define the nature of legal rights granted.
Drafting of patent claims is not an easy task. Given the complexity of drafting claims, it is important to take the help of the legal professional. Essentially patent claims are of two kinds i.e. the independent claims and the dependent claims. Independent claims set the store for the kind of protection sought by the inventor. They do not bear any reference to the older claims and are independent in nature. They are usually broader in scope than the dependent claims because they do not carry any reference to them. They contain the quintessential details of the inventions that are absolutely necessary for the patent to be granted.
A dependent claim on the other hand always bears reference to an independent claim or a previously filed claim. Therefore they restrict the limit of the scope of the independent claim. They also contain even the minute features that are unessential to mention in the specifications. They mention all the optional details that if not mentioned will do no role in the making of the decision of the controller. There is no single method to draft the claims. It all depends on the kind of patent claims and the nature of the invention. It is naturally defined in a way that best suits the interest of what the applicant seeks to protect. Depending upon the needs of the applicant they can be drafted in a broad or a narrow way.
Once a complete specification of the invention is ready, it is to be accompanied by the abstract of the invention. Abstract provides the technical information in brief and shall commence with the title of the invention. The abstract shall mention all the details to decide whether there is a need to consult the specification itself. It shall also contain a concise summary of the invention. It shall not be more than one hundred and fifty words.