Contents of a Patent Application

"The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it."
- Elbert Hubbard

An invention is any new process, machine or article or an improvement on existing products or composition that is developed by a human. 

A patent is a grant from a Government body given to the inventor that prevents others from using, making, selling or offering an invention for sale for a fixed period of time. The inventor is expected to file an application with the Government for the same. A patent application is a set of papers that describe the invention in detail and is suitable for applying for a patent on the invention described. 

There are two kinds of patent applications that can be filed namely, Provisional Patent Application and a Non Provisional Patent Application. A provisional patent is generally filed in order to block an earlier filing date for a non provisional patent application. However, if a non provisional patent application is not filed within a year of filing a provisional, the application is then abandoned. 

A filed patent application generally consists of the following essential parts such as the 

 A title must be given to your invention which is normally less than 500 characters. In a sentence, it conveys a general message as to the field the invention belongs. 

Cross Reference to related Applications:
 This section contains a list of prior arts previously filed by the same inventor which are used as a reference. 

Federally Sponsored Research: (optional) If the particular invention was made under a contract with the Government, this section indicates that the Government possesses rights over it. 

Background: The Background describes the technical field from which the invention stems. Also, this section discusses the problems arising from existing technologies and the need for an improvement or solution to these problems through the current invention. 

Summary: A brief discussion of the solution being provided to the problems of existing technologies. A brief description of the invention as claimed. The summary is generally the claims written in non legal language. 

Drawings: The drawings are an important part of a patent application. They consist of the method flow diagrams, the system flow diagrams and the screenshots. The method flow diagram is similar to a flow chart that displays the functional steps of the present invention. The system flow diagram shows in figures how each module functions briefly. The screenshots are a pictorial description of how certain functions of the present invention look once executed. These are always in black and white as per the rules of the respective Patent Office. 

Brief Description: The lists of figures enclosed in a patent application are named in words respectively. 

Detailed Description: This section deals with the description of each and every module of the present invention in detail. The main objective is to narrate the appearance and structure of the apparatus or machine used, the operation of the present invention including the step by step description of how the main embodiment operates and additional embodiments if any. The flow of the narration is based on the method flow diagram which is described step wise. Each embodiment is thoroughly described and new and abstract terms are defined in their respective sections as well. 

Claims: A broad description of step by step execution is provided in legal language showcasing the main objective from a system’s perspective. There are atleast three types of claims a patent application should touch base with, namely, an independent claim, a system claim and a product claim. These broad independent claims can further consist of narrow dependent claims as well for a better understanding. Abstract: The abstract is technically considered a part of the specification which includes a brief summary of the detailed description. It is generally restricted to 150 words or less. It is written in the non legal language and usually in a single paragraph. The inventor must touch base with these sections while drafting his or her application. 

The above mentioned sections are required in a non provisional patent application, however, a provisional patent application need not necessarily include Cross Reference to Related Applications and Federally Sponsored Research.

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