A patent application has three primary components: a specification, drawings and claims. The drawings are not necessary, but they are usually a standard part of a patent application that is directed to a mechanical or electrical invention. Patent applications that are directed to chemical applications may or may not include drawings.

The claims are a necessary part of a non-provisional patent application. Technically, the claims are part of the patent specification, but they are treated as a separate part of a patent application due to their importance.

A complete application also includes such things as an oath or declaration, a fee, and, optionally, such things as a non-publication request, preliminary amendment or other similar items.

The Parts of a Patent Specification

The first part of the specification is the title of the invention. The title of the invention should be placed at the top of the first page of the specification unless the title is provided in an application data sheet. The title of the invention should be brief but technically accurate and descriptive, preferably from two to seven words. It may not contain more than 500 characters.

The next part of a specification is the cross-reference to related applications. Under certain circumstances, an application for patent is entitled to the benefit of the filing date of a prior non-provisional application or provisional application that has at least one common inventor. Such applications should be listed in this section.

The next part of a specification is the statement regarding federally sponsored research or development. In certain circumstances, a government contractor is required to include a statement at the beginning of the application indicating that the U.S. government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms.

The next part of a specification includes a reference to material submitted on other media, such as a compact disc. This is followed by the background of the invention. The specification should set forth the background of the invention in two parts: the field of the invention and the description of related art.

The field of the invention is a statement of the field of art to which the invention pertains. This statement may include a paraphrasing of the applicable U.S. patent classification definitions of the subject matter of the claimed invention.

The description of the related art includes a description of the related art known to the applicant and including, if applicable, references to specific related art and problems involved in the prior art that are solved by the applicant's invention.