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Guide To Patenting And USPTO Patent Applications

Preparing Your Patent Application - Writing The Specification


The following patent application pages and forms are part of preparing your patent application.
  1. Application transmittal form
  2. Fee transmittal form
  3. Application Data Sheet
  4. Specification - more details below
  5. Drawings
  6. Oath or declaration

Will I Need Models, Exhibits, Specimens, or Prototypes

The USPTO patent application does not ask you to submit any models, exhibits, specimens, or prototypes. They are not required to be included with your patent application. However, the USPTO may ask you for one of these items if they think it is necessary.

Read - Do You Need Models, Exhibits, or Specimens

What is the Specification?

This is the meat and bones of your patent application. The description, together with the claims, is often referred to as the specification. As this word suggests, these are the sections of the patent application where you specify what your machine or process is and how it differs from previous patents and technology.

Specification - Section Headings

It is preferable to use all of the section headings when producing the specification rather than leaving out an unused heading. Section headings should be in upper case without underlining or bold type. If the section contains no text, the phrase "Not Applicable" should follow the section heading.
  1. Title of the Invention.
  2. Cross Reference to related applications (if any). (Related applications may be listed on an application data sheet, either instead of or together with being listed in the specification.)
  3. Statement of federally sponsored research/development (if any).
  4. Reference to a ”Sequence Listing,” a table, or a computer program listing appendix submitted on a compact disc and an incorporation by reference of the material on the compact disc including duplicates and the files on each compact disc shall be specified.
  5. Background of the Invention.
  6. Brief Summary of the Invention.
  7. Brief description of the several views of the drawing (if any).
  8. Detailed Description of the Invention.
  9. Claim or claims.
  10. Abstract of the disclosure.
  11. Sequence listing (if any).
To learn more about the different parts of a specification listed above you can read Writing the Specification For A Utilty Patent

What A Specification Must Achieve

The specification must include a written description of the invention and the process of making and using it. It is required that you write your specification in full, clear, concise, and exact terms so that a person skilled in the same technological area as your invention (or the most nearly connected) would be able to make and use your invention.

The specification must describe your invention preciously so that a person skilled would be able to distinguish it from other inventions and from what is old. It must describe completely a specific embodiment of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or improvement invented, and must explain the mode of operation or principle whenever applicable. You must write your specification in the best form possible. You cannot hold back or try to keep things secret or vague. You must add all the details.

Writing The Specification When Referring To An "Improvement"

In the case of when you invent an improvement to an existing invention, the specification must particularly point out the part or parts of the process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter that relates to the improvement.

Your specification or description should be confined to just the specific improvement. For example, don't describe the whole mousetrap and how it works, just the improvements you invented to mousetrap springs. However, do describe anything attached to your improvement that you have to describe in order to make sense of what you have invented.

Next - The USPTO Examination

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