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Use these rules when crafting the description on your patent

One of the big challenges of a good patent application is your invention's description. You know you need to get everything right the first time to avoid problems later.

What's the best way to make sure that you aren't forgetting anything? Here's a set of rule to follow:

Details count. Use them.

Your patent's validity relies in the uniqueness of your idea. You need to make sure that you include every detail about your invention and all its uses.

One way to check the clarity of your description is to have someone with no knowledge of the product -- or even the field -- read the description and see if it is understandable. Ask that person to describe your invention back to you in his or her own words. The process may reveal gaps in your description that you didn't realize where there.

Make it copy worthy.

The goal of a patent is to protect your invention, not hide it. If your description isn't complete enough that someone else could copy the design and make the item without asking you for more information, it isn't clear enough.

Consider alternative uses.

You know the preferred embodiment or use of your invention. Have you considered, however, the other ways that it could be used? Listing those other potential uses, even if they aren't what you intend the item to do, affords your invention more protections. Consider asking a few creative friends for all the different ways they can think to use your invention. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find!

Use a checklist.

Finally, make a checklist and use it to make sure that nothing is left out of the description by accident. Look for:

  • The title of the invention
  • A statement of the need it fulfills or problem it solves
  • Background information and artwork
  • An example of its anticipated use

It's often wise to seek professional help with your patent application process -- especially if you've never tried to patent anything before. Mistakes are costly and can expose you to severe financial consequences, so it pays to take your time and work through the process carefully.

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