Draft a “mini” patent application for your business concept. The draft application should reflect your understanding of the materials discussed in the anatomy of a patent lecture materials this week. You may evaluate existing and prior patents in the U.S. on www.google.com/patents (Links to an external site.), and other search engines in other countries, by searching on keywords
Your submission should include the following sections:
- Background of the Invention,
- Summary of the Invention,
- Detailed Description of the Invention, and
Please include at least one drawing and at least one claim in those sections.
Your mini patent application should be 5 to 7 pages, not including Drawings.
Based on the types of questions I received from previous cohorts on this assignment, I wanted to share a note to help you further prepare for the assignment and my expectations. Two primary questions/concerns were raised in the past:
1) There seems to be a good bit of redundancy throughout the various sections of a patent application. Is this right?
2) My business is a service or is not patentable otherwise. How am I suppose to approach the assignment?
If you find yourself in one of these camps, then you are in luck because I have anticipated your question. Please keep the following in mind:
1) There is a lot of redundancy in patent applications, so it will be different from the drafting style you will use in other areas of writing. Based on the sections of a patent application, some repetition makes sense. For example, a detailed description of the invention will necessarily include material from the background of the invention or the summary of the invention. There is also some strategy involved in doing this. In order to have the strongest possible patent, you want to describe your invention in as much detail as possible and with as many variations as possible. That’s why you will see a lot of repetition with only subtle differences throughout most patent applications. Gene Quinn has a nice blog post on this topic that you should consider reading. Don’t be deterred by the repetition; it is expected.
2) For purposes of this assignment, don’t worry about whether your invention/service/product/idea is in fact patentable. I am not grading you on whether your mini patent application is something that would result in a granted patent. I am more interested in getting you to understand how to approach the patent drafting process. You can use whatever information you have to date about your business to approach this – regardless of the type of business.
For example, many of you are building mobile apps. You can describe the mobile app and how it is intended to work as part of the description of the invention in your patent application. I imagine your patent claim will read something like: “A mobile [insert business idea] comprising: A) a mobile application for x, y and z; B) a processor for x, y, and z; and C) a website for x, y and z”
The same can work for a service idea. Describe the service in the description sections of the patent application. Rather than having a claim for a product or device (as would be the case for a product or web application), you may want to consider a process or method claim. For example, “A method for incorporating [insert business idea] comprising the steps of: a, b, and c.”
Many of you have mobile application ideas, which will lend themselves to both product claims and method/process claims (like the two examples I outlined above).
Hope this helps.