What do you file to get a patent?

A patent application is submitted in writing to the U.S. Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks. The utility patent application includes a specification (a satisfactory description of the invention with at least one claim), a drawing where necessary.

Also an oath or declaration signed by the inventors (stating that they are the true inventors, they read the patent application and acknowledging their duty to disclose any information relevant to the patentability of the claims), and the fee required by law.

The description is simply a detailed account of the structure, operation, and function of the invention, written in such terms as to “enable any person skilled in the art…to make and use” the invention as you can see from post.

The description must also set forth the “best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention.” This best mode description is to be provided as of the filing date of the application.

The claims define the “metes and bounds” of the intellectual property and must be carefully drafted to avoid the teachings of the prior art while providing maximum legal protection for the invention. As the legal definition of the invention, the claims are also key to answering questions regarding infringement.

The drafting of claims is a key element of patents and one of the most important skills provided by an experienced patent attorney. Find out more from