In addition to a patent application being presented to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in order to receive a provisional patent, it is also necessary throughout the life of the patent to a number of groups. Various parties, such as manufacturers, require proof of said patent and also may rely on the technical description included in the application as an overview to ensure that what they are manufacturing fits the patent components.
A clear and concise patent application will provide a succinct overview of the invention that will be understandable to a vast audience. This includes both legal and technical interests, as well as commercial.
First and foremost, the main reason for the patent application is to demonstrate to the USPTO inspector that the invention is indeed worthy of a patent. It should be crafted to reflect what the inspector is searching for in the decision making process. It should also take into consideration the need for very few amendments, as well as the length of time taken to process the application itself.
While the inspector’s examination of the application is initially the main interest, there are other interests to consider. Legal teams representing manufacturers will also need a thorough understanding of what is being presented to them so that they are properly conveying the invention details to their clients. A well-constructed application will be legible not only to lawyers and paralegals, but to judges and juries as well.
Patent applications may also be referenced in the continuation of a patent, such as renewing a patent prior to expiration or applying for greater patent coverage. For example, a Provisional Patent holder has one year to either reapply for another Provisional Patent or to apply for a twenty year Utility Patent. In either one of these situations, the original application is relied on to provide adequate documentation of the patent.
The patent application also may be used if ever there were a case of patent infringement by an outside party. A well-written and detailed document may prove beneficial if ever a case against the patent holder should arise. For these reasons, it is imperative to have proper wording and illustrations that a variety of individuals in and outside of patent law will easily comprehend.
In short, this tremendously important document will pass through many hands. Proper execution is key to not only satisfying the needs of the USPTO inspector providing the patent but also in providing necessary solid documentation of the invention when the need arises during the patent’s lifetime.