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Patent Applications - How To File For A Utility Patent

Writing the Specification For A Utility Patent

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The specification is a written detailed description of the invention and how to make and use the invention. The specification must be written in full, clear, concise, and exact language that a person that is skilled in the technology involved in your invention could make and use your invention. The patent office examiner will be skilled in the technology involved with your invention.

Patent specifications are not written at a layperson's level of understanding, they are written at an expert's level of understanding. In addition, they are ways to write things based on legal interpretation that can give you the best patent protection.

Writing the specification for a utility patent requires both technical and legal skill.

Remember you must follow the Patent Office's paper format for anything you prepare. You can also file electronically (more about that at the end).

Formatting and Numbering The Pages

  • All the pages of the specification including claims and abstract, have to be numbered consecutively, starting with 1. This does not apply to the transmittal letter sheets or other forms.
  • The page numbers should be centrally located preferably below the text.
  • The text lines of the specification must be 1.5 or double spaced (lines of other text not comprising the specification need not be 1.5 or double spaced).
  • Include an indentation at the beginning of each new paragraph, and number the paragraphs starting at (0001 etc.).
Use all of the section headings listed below to represent the different parts of the specification. Section headings should be in all upper case letters without underlining or bold type. If the section is not applicable to your patent and contains no text, type the text "Not Applicable" following the section heading.

Section Headings

Detailed instructions for each section heading will be on the pages following this one.

  • TITLE OF INVENTION
  • CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • REFERENCE TO A SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM, LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • CLAIM OR CLAIMS
  • ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • DRAWINGS (When Necessary)
  • OATH OR DECLARATION
  • SEQUENCE LISTING (When Necessary)

Next > Detailed Instructions For Each Section Heading

Do you want to know what the Patent office does after you file your patent application, or what you might have to do after they receive it? See "Examination of Patent Applications".
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