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Invention Specifications

The specification is a written description of the invention and of the manner and process of making and using the same.  The specification must be in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art or science to which the invention pertains to make and use the same. It is preferable to use all of the section headings described below to represent the parts of the specification.  Section headings should be in upper case without underlining or bold type.  If the section contains no text, the phrase "Not Applicable" should follow the section heading. 

Title of the Invention

The title of the invention (or an introductory portion stating the name, citizenship, residence of each applicant, and the title of the invention) should appear as the heading on the first page of the specification.  Although a title may have up to 500 characters, the title must be as short and specific as possible.

Cross-Reference to Related Applications

Any nonprovisional utility patent application claiming the benefit of one or more prior filed copending nonprovisional applications (or international applications designating the United States of America) under 35 USC §§ 120, 121 or 365(c) must contain in the first sentence(s) of the specification following the title, a reference to each such prior application, identifying it by the application number or international application number and international filing date, and indicating the relationship of the applications, or include the reference to the earlier application in an application data sheet under 37 CFR § 1.76.  See 37 CFR 1.78.  Cross-references to other related patent applications may be made when appropriate.

Statement Regarding Federally Sponsored Research or Development

The application should contain a statement as to rights to inventions made under federally sponsored research and development (if any).

Reference to Sequence Listing, a Table, or a Computer Program Listing Compact Disc Appendix

Any material submitted separately on a compact disc must be referenced in the specification.  The only disclosure material accepted on compact disc are computer program listings, gene sequence listings and tables of information.   All such information submitted on compact disc must be in compliance with 37 CFR § 1.52(e), and the specification must contain a reference to the compact disc and its contents.  The contents of compact disc files must be in standard ASCII character and file formats.  The total number of compact discs including duplicates and the files on each compact disc must be specified.

If a computer program listing is to be submitted and is over 300 lines long (each line of up to 72 characters), the computer program listing must be submitted on a compact disc in compliance with 37 CFR § 1.96, and the specification must contain a reference to the computer program listing appendix.  A computer program listing of 300 or less lines may be, but is not required to be, submitted on compact disc.  The computer program listing on compact disc will not be printed with any patent or patent application publication.

If a gene sequence listing is to be submitted, the sequence may be submitted on a compact disc in compliance with 37 CFR §§ 1.821-1.825, in lieu of submission on paper, and the specification must contain a reference to the gene sequence listing on compact disc.

If a table of data is to be submitted, and such table would occupy more than 50 pages if submitted on paper, the table can be submitted on a compact disc in compliance with 37 CFR § 1.58, and the specification must contain a reference to the table on compact disc. The data in the table must properly align visually with the associated rows and columns.

Background of the Invention

This section should include a statement of the field of endeavor to which the invention pertains.  This section may also include a paraphrasing of the applicable U.S. patent Classification Definitions or the subject matter of the claimed invention.

This section should also contain a description of information known to you, including references to specific documents, which are related to your invention.  It should contain, if applicable, references to specific problems involved in the prior art (or state of technology) which your invention is drawn toward.

Brief Summary of the Invention

This section should present the substance or general idea of the claimed invention in summarized form.  The summary may point out the advantages of the invention and how it solves previously existing problems, preferably those problems identified in the BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION.  A statement of the object of the invention may also be included.

Brief Description of the Several Views of the Drawing

Where there are drawings, you must include a listing of all figures by number ( e.g.,Figure 1A) and with corresponding statements explaining what each figure depicts.

Detailed Description of the Invention

In this section, the invention must be explained along with the process of making and using the invention in full, clear, concise, and exact terms.  This section should distinguish the invention from other inventions and from what is old and describe completely the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or improvement invented.   In the case of an improvement, the description should be confined to the specific improvement and to the parts that necessarily cooperate with it or which are necessary to completely understand the invention.

It is required that the description be sufficient so that any person of ordinary skill in the pertinent art, science, or area could make and use the invention without extensive experimentation.  The best mode contemplated by you of carrying out your invention must be set forth in the description. Each element in the drawings should be mentioned in the description.  This section has often, in the past, been titled "Description of the Preferred Embodiment."

Claim or Claims

The claim or claims must particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter which you regard as the invention.  The claims define the scope of the protection of the patent.  Whether a patent will be granted is determined, in large measure, by the choice of wording of the claims.

A nonprovisional application for a utility patent must contain at least one claim.  The claim or claims section must begin on a separate physical sheet or electronic page.  If there are several claims, they shall be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.

One or more claims may be presented in dependent form, referring back to and further limiting another claim or claims in the same application.  All dependent claims should be grouped together with the claim or claims to which they refer to the extent practicable. Any dependent claim that refers to more than one other claim ("a multiple dependent claim") shall refer to such other claims in the alternative only.  Each claim should be a single sentence, and where a claim sets forth a number of elements or steps, each element or step of the claim should be separated by a line indentation.

The fee required to be submitted with a nonprovisional utility patent application is, in part, determined by the number of claims, independent claims, and dependent claims.

Abstract of the Disclosure

The purpose of the abstract is to enable the USPTO and the public to determine quickly the nature of the technical disclosures of your invention. The abstract points out what is new in the art to which your invention pertains. It should be in narrative form and generally limited to a single paragraph, and it must begin on a separate page. An abstract should not be longer than 150 words.

Drawings (when necessary)

A patent application is required to contain drawings if drawings are necessary for the understanding of the subject matter sought to be patented.  The drawings must show every feature of the invention as specified in the claims.  Omission of drawings may cause an application to be considered incomplete.

There are two acceptable categories for presenting drawings in utility patent applications: black ink (black and white) and color. Black and white drawings are normally required.  India ink, or its equivalent that secures black solid lines, must be used for drawings.  Drawings made by computer printer should be originals, not photocopies.

The drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention.  The views may be plan, elevation, section, or perspective views.  Detailed views of portions of elements, on a larger scale if necessary, may also be used.  All views of the drawing must be grouped together and arranged on the sheet(s) without wasting space, preferably in an upright position, clearly separated from one another, and must not be included in the sheets containing the specifications, claims, or abstract.  Views must not be connected by projection lines and must not contain center lines.  Waveforms of electrical signals may be connected by dashed lines to show the relative timing of the waveforms.

Exploded views, with the separated parts embraced by a bracket, to show the relationship or order of assembly of various parts are permissible.  When an exploded view is shown in a figure which is on the same sheet as another figure, the exploded view should be placed in brackets.

Oath Or Declaration

Each inventor must make an oath or declaration that he/she believes himself/herself to be the original and first inventor of the subject matter of the application, and he/she must make various other statements required by law and various statements required by the USPTO rules.  If an application data sheet is filed, the USPTO rules require fewer statements in the oath or declaration.  See title 37, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 1.63 and 1.76.  The oath must be sworn to by the inventor before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths.  A declaration may be used in lieu of an oath.  Oaths or declarations are required for applications involving designs, plants, and utility inventions and for reissue applications.  A declaration does not require any witness or person to administer or verify its signing.  Thus, use of a declaration is preferable.  When filing a continuation or divisional application a copy of an earlier-filed oath or declaration from the parent application may be acceptable.  The oath or declaration must be signed by the inventor in person, or by the person entitled by law to make application on the inventor's behalf.  A full first and last name with middle initial or name, if any, and the citizenship of each inventor are required.  The mailing address of each inventor and foreign priority information (if any) are also required if an application data sheet is not used.

Any oath or declaration must be in a language the inventor understands.  If the oath or declaration used is in a language other than English, and is not in a form provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office or provided in accordance with PCT Rule 4.17 (iv), an English translation together with a statement that the translation is accurate is required.

If the person making the oath or declaration is not the inventor, the oath or declaration shall state the relationship of that person to the inventor, upon information and belief, the facts which the inventor would have been required to state, and the circumstances which render the inventor unable to sign, namely death, insanity or legal incapacity or unavailability/refusal to sign. (See 37 CFR §§ 1.42, 1.43, and 1.47.)  If the inventor has refused or cannot be reached to sign the declaration, then a petition under 37 CFR § 1.47 is required, and if there are inventors who have signed the oath or declaration, then the remaining inventors must sign the oath or declaration on behalf of the non-signing inventor.  If the sole or all of the inventors has not signed the oath or declaration, then the oath or declaration must be signed by the party showing proprietary interest in the application, as shown in the petition under 37 CFR § 1.47(b).  If the inventor has died or is legally incapacitated, then the legal representative of the deceased or incapacitated inventor must sign the oath or declaration on behalf of the inventor.