A utility nonprovisional patent application is a patent application that gets substantively examined and issued into a utility patent should it meet the conditions of patentability. When filing a nonprovisional utility patent application, it must be submitted in the English language or be accompanied by a translation in the English language, a statement that the translation is accurate, and have payment of the fee set forth in 37 CFR § 1.17(i). If an applicant files a utility nonprovisional application in a language other than English without the translation, statement, or fee, the applicant will be given a notice and time period to submit the missing item(s).
A nonprovisional utility patent application must include a specification, including a description and a claim or claims; drawings, when necessary; an oath or declaration; and the prescribed filing, search, and examination fees.
EFS-Web accepts electronic documents formatted in Portable Document Format (PDF). The specification (description and claims) can be created using a word processing program such as Microsoft® Word or Corel® WordPerfect. The document containing the specification can normally be converted into PDF format by the word processing program and can be included as an attachment when filing the application via EFS-Web. Other application documents, such as drawings and a hand-signed declaration, may have to be scanned as a PDF file for filing via EFS-Web.
Each document can be created in a PDF format for filing via EFS-Web must have a top margin of at least 2 cm (3/4 inch), a left-side margin of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch), a right-side margin of at least 2 cm (3/4 inch) and a bottom margin of at least 2 cm (3/4 inch). The application pages must be numbered consecutively (centrally located above or below the text) starting with page one. In addition, the PDF document size should be 8.5 inch by 11 inch (standard size) or 21 centimeter by 29.7 centimeter (DIN size A4). The specification, including the abstract and claims, must have lines that are 1.5 or double-spaced in a single column of text. The text must be a nonscript font (e.g., Times Roman), and preferably has a font size of at least 12. Handwritten text is generally not acceptable.
A complete nonprovisional utility patent application should contain the elements listed below, arranged in the order shown. Description of these elements is provided in the following sections:
- Specification (with at least one claim)
- Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence Listing (when necessary)
- Large Tables or Computer Listings (when necessary)
- Utility Patent Application Transmittal Form or Transmittal Letter
- Appropriate Fees
- Application Data Sheet (see 37 CFR § 1.76)
- Drawings (when necessary)
- Executed Oath or Declaration
The specification is a written description of the invention and of the manner and process of making and using the invention that concludes with the claims to the invention, which must begin on a new page. The specification must be in clear, full, concise, and exact terms to enable any person skilled in the art or science to which the invention pertains to make and use the same. Below is an overview of the sections of the specification.
Brief Summary of the Invention
The summary can include the advantages of the invention and how it solves previously existing problems. This section should present the substance or general idea of the claimed invention in summarized form. Preferably, problems are identified in the Background of the Invention section. A statement of the object of the invention may also be included. See MPEP § 608.01(d) for more information.
Brief Description of the Drawing Figures
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. It should also 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 that 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 the inventor of carrying out the invention must be set forth in the description. Each element in the drawings should be mentioned in the description. See MPEP § 608.01(g) for more information.
Claim or Claims
Pursuant to section 112 of the chapter 35 of the Patent Act, the claim or claims must particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter that the inventor or inventors 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 scope of the claims. The claims can be aptly described as establishing a fence around a person’s intellectual property.
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 must 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 (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.
Abstract of the Disclosure
The abstract of the specification is generally found on the front page of every issued patent. The purpose of the abstract is to enable the USPTO and the public to quickly determine 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. See MPEP § 608.01(b) for more information.
A patent application is required to contain drawings if drawings are necessary to understand the subject matter to be patented. Most patent applications contain drawings. The drawings must show every feature of the invention as specified in the claims. A drawing necessary to understand the invention cannot be introduced into an application after the filing date of the application because of the prohibition against new matter.