If the decision is made to seek patent protection, a formal written application must be prepared which fully describes and legally defines the invention. The patent application is an important legal document and should not be undertaken by someone who is not trained and experienced in drafting patent applications. It is highly advisable that a registered patent agency, like Invent Help, or a attorney draft the application with the inventor’s technical input and assistance. A patent application includes a specification, a series of claims, and drawings where necessary for understanding the invention.
The specification must contain a full written disclosure of the invention so that anyone skilled in the area pertaining to the invention would be able to obtain all the necessary information to make and use the invention. It must also disclose the best mode known to the inventor of practicing the invention at the time the application is filed. The inventor must, therefore, be certain to tell the patent attorney everything known about the invention.
The claims determine the scope of protection provided by the patent for the invention. It is the claims that define what the inventor can exclude others from making, using or selling. Great care must be taken to draft patent claims such that they define as broad a scope as possible for the invention while, at the same time, making the claims sufficiently narrow to avoid a challenge to validity based on prior inventions. The initial claims of the application are often amended during the prosecution of the application to more clearly define the patented invention.
Since drawings must comply with detailed Patent Office rules and standards, an experienced patent draftsman should prepare the drawings. The patent attorney preparing the patent application will normally make the arrangements for the services of a competent patent draftsman.
Once the patent application is completed and certain accompanying legal papers are prepared, the application can be filed with the Patent and Trademark Office. When the application has been filed, and not before, the invention may be marked “Patent Pending” or “Patent Applied For.”
The charges for the preparation of the patent application result largely from the amount of time it takes the patent attorney to prepare the application. Hence, savings will often result if the inventor provides the patent agency, like InventHelp, with a full disclosure concerning the invention before preparation of the application begins.