A Brief Overview of a Patent Application

Patent Applications: Content Requirements

A patent application must contain the following, according to S14(2) of the Patents Act 1977:

a) a request for the grant of a patent

b) a specification containing a description of the invention, a claim or claims, and any drawing referred to in the description of the any claim, and

c) an abstract

The Claim:

The claim needs to be very clear and concise and has to define the matter that the applicant is seeking protection for. The claim must also be supported by the description and relate to the invention to form an incentive concept. Claims are governed under s14(5) of the Patents Act 1977.

The Specification:

This is governed by s14(3) of the Patents Act 1977 and states that the specification ‘…shall disclose the invention in a manner which is clear enough and complete enough for the invention to be performed by a person skilled in the art’

The Description:

The description is required in order to help understand the claim. It will detail what has been created, the problems the invention aims to solve and how it differs to what is already in existence. The description also tells us why the invention or claim is important but may be declared invalid if it does not support the actual claim itself


This consists of a brief summary with regards to the technical features of the invention. The purpose of the abstract is to aid the Patent Offices, acting as a search tool and to alert third parties to the existence of an application. The abstract typically consists of around one hundred words.

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