Patent writing is the process to draft a patent application to get a patent grant. Inventors can get the benefits of their patents only if they are successfully able to patent their inventions. Getting a patent is a long process that involves various legal steps. Therefore, first, you have to submit a patent application to initiate the process. In the US, the USPTO is the federal agency where one can have their patents granted. However, the USPTO is fee-funded agency. Thus, any error in your patent application costs you money to correct it. Drafting a patent application means following the guidelines of the Office. Therefore, you have to familiarise yourself with the guidelines.
In this article, we will explain the process of patent writing in simple words. Moreover, you will come to know the difference between provisional and non-provisional patent application and, especially, patent writing.
Related Article: Provisional Patent Example: How Does It Matter?
Everything You Should Know before Patent Writing
Patents are rights given to the inventor or businesses to exploit the patented invention within the jurisdiction it is granted for. If the USPTO grants you a patent, patent rights work effectively within the United States. Moreover, your patent rights prevent others from using your invention without you’re your permission.
The USPTO has defined three categories for patents:
- Design Patent
- Utility Patent
- Plant Patent
Moreover, there are two types of patent applications in the United States:
- Provisional patent application
- Non-provisional patent application
Note: you cannot file a provisional application for a design patent.
Provisional Patent Application
The USPTO created this way for filing patents in 1995 – provisional patent application. It’s the way to get the early priority date by submitting a low fee and doing minimum paper work. Moreover, the USPTO doesn’t examine a provisional patent application.
However, filing a provisional patent gives you a 12-month pendency period. Your application becomes abandoned if you don’t file a corresponding non-provisional application within the pendency period. Although you can’t extend the pendency period, there’s a way to achieve to that. You have to file a corresponding non-provisional patent application within 14 months. In addition, you need to file a grantable petition which states the delay was unintentional along with the petition fee. The USPTO encourages applicants to file separate corresponding non-provisional applications. Converting your provisional patent application into non-provisional reduces the patent term by 12 months.
Non-Provisional Patent Application
After filing a provisional patent application, you have to file a corresponding non-provisional patent application to complete the process of getting a patent. Unlike provisional applications, you have to follow more guidelines and pay many fees. However, it is important to file it; otherwise you won’t get patent rights.
Instead of converting your provisional application to non-provisional, we advise you to file a corresponding non-provisional application. In case of conversion, your patent term starts from the day of filing the provisional application. Whereas, in case of a corresponding non-provisional application, your patent term starts from the day of filing your non-provisional application.
In the next sections, we will dive deep into both types of patent applications. Moreover, we will see how we can use the USPTO guidelines for patent writing.
Contents of a Provisional Application
It’s important to know the contents of a provisional application, for it helps in patent drafting. The application allows you to file without much paper work. As a result, you needn’t include the following sections in your application.
- A formal patent claim
- Oath or declaration
- Any information disclosure (prior art) statement
However, your provisional application should have a cover sheet comprising:
- Application for Patent
- Names of all Inventors
- Inventor Residences
- Title of the Invention
- Name and registration number of attorney or agent and docket number (if applicable)
- Correspondence Address
- Any U.S. Government agency that has a property interest in the application
Contents of a Non-Provisional Application
Once you file a provisional application, you get a 12-months pendency period to file a corresponding non-provisional application. However, you may get two months more if you file a petition along with the petition fee. Non-provisional patent application comprises many legal documents. You can see the list below.
- Utility Patent Application Transmittal Form or Transmittal Letter
- Appropriate Fees
- Application Data Sheet
- Specification (with at least one claim)
- Drawings (when necessary)
- Executed Oath or Declaration
- Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence Listing (when necessary)
- Large Tables or Computer Listings (when necessary)
Note: you may go for the online option to file a patent in the United States; use Electronic Filing System – EFS- Web.
Related Article: Writing a Patent Draft – The Major Requirements
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We see that you have reached the end of this article. The article shares the basics of patent writing and patent application. Now, it’s time to decide whether you want to draft a patent application on your own or you want to hire professional patent drafters. The choice is completely yours.
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