Posts Tagged: "detailed description"

What is a patent and where do patent rights come from?

A patent is a proprietary right granted by the Federal government pursuant to laws passed by Congress. The Congressional power to authorize patents is found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution. exclusive rights are provided for a limited time as an incentive to inventors, entrepreneurs and corporations to engage in research and development, to spend the time, energy and capital resources necessary to create useful inventions; which will hopefully have a positive effect on society through the introduction of new products and processes of manufacture into the economy, including life saving treatments and cures. See Kewanee Oil Co. v. Bicron Corp., 416 U.S. 470, 480 (1974).

The Best Mode Requirement: Not disclosing preferences in a patent application still a big mistake

The best mode requirement still exists, although the America Invents Act (AIA) has largely removed any consequences for failing to disclose the inventor’s best mode, which means the current state of the law is at best a bit murky. But why would you ever want to file a patent application that does not disclose something that you prefer or regard as better? The goal of filing a patent application has to be to completely disclose your invention with as much detail and description as possible, paying particular attention to alternatives and variations. So while you may be able to get away with not disclosing any preferences doing so would likely be a tragic mistake.

Patent Drafting: Learning from common patent application mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes I see inventors make is they spend too much time talking about what the invention does and very little time explaining what the invention is and how it operates to deliver the functionality being described. Many inventors also make the mistake of only very generally describing their invention. If that is you then you are already light on specifics, which is extremely dangerous in and of itself. But the other problem I want to discuss is the flip side of the coin. It is important to be specific, but not just specific.

Patent Drafting: Distinctly identifying the invention in exact terms

In short, a concise description of an invention is an inadequate description of an invention, period. The goal has to be to provide a full, clear, exact description of the invention in a way that particularly points out and distinctly identifies what the inventor believes he or she has invented and wants protection to cover. Even knowing what the legal standard is for the description that must be present in a patent application does not ensure that those without training will be able to satisfy the requirement. The blame for this goes to the way most people describe things as they engage in ordinary, everyday communications.

Describing an Invention in a Patent Application

It is absolutely critical to understand that this complete and full description MUST be present as of the filing date of your application. If you file an application that does not describe the invention to the required level required by U.S. patent laws the application is defective and it cannot be fixed. The only way to fix an inadequate disclosure is to file a new application with an adequate disclosure, but that means you obtain no benefit from the filing of the earlier inadequate patent application.

Enablement – Did the public receive all it contracted to receive?

A claim drafted too broadly may not be enabled and hence be invalid. Yet, the temptation to claim broadly often leads the patentee to ignore this risk.

Patent Drafting: The Detailed Description Should Include Multiple Embodiments or Examples

Along with their ABC’s and multiplication tables, patent lawyers learn two basic principles. First, claims define the invention. Second, a court should not read limitations from a single embodiment into the claims, absent a demonstrated clear intention by the patentee to do so. Don’t believe them. When the Federal Circuit brings up the principle that one should not import the limitations of a single embodiment into a broader claim, expect the opinion to show how, under the particular, specifically limited facts of the present case, the inventor actually intended to limit the claims to the disclosed embodiment.