The declaration is one of the forms submitted with a patent application. We will explain how to fill out the declaration for your utility or design patent application. The declaration isn’t necessary to fill out when you file your provisional patent application but it is a good thing to file it anyways. Also, the declaration isn’t necessary to have file when you file your nonprovisional patent application but once again it’s a good thing to file anyway. I’ll explain later.
You can download a copy of the declaration by clicking on the link below.
The declaration has three different sections. The title of the invention, the declaration, and the signature block.
If you need help completing the declaration form and other stages of protecting your invention, you can hire me, Orange County patent attorney James Yang. I work with inventors and attorneys of counsel throughout California. You can schedule a consultation, or read on to find out more about filling out the declaration form properly.
Title of the Invention
The declaration section has a few checkboxes and fields you have to fill out.
Typically, when you’re filing or filing an original application, you don’t have the application serial number. Check the first check box.
If you are filing the declaration after filing your nonprovisional or provisional patent application, you will receive the application serial number immediately upon filing. In this case, you should check the second check box and insert the serial number of your provisional or nonprovisional application and the filing date.
The inventor should sign the signature block.
Enter the legal name of the inventor. The inventor does not need to print, sign, and scan the declaration for the signature. Rather, the Patent Office has allowed people to use a slash signature. A slash signature is simply a /[insert name]/. Replace [insert name] with the name of the inventor. Now, the inventor must him or herself enter their own slash signature. No one else can do it for them.
The declaration should be signed by all of the inventors of the idea. One declaration should be prepared for each inventor. The attorney, president, or manager shouldn’t sign, or anyone else unless they are an inventor of the idea being patented. Otherwise, any patent that matures from the application may be invalidated.
With this in mind, you’ll have to decide who the inventors are for the idea being patented. Put simply, an inventor is someone who conceived of the idea being patented. You also have to distinguish between an inventor and a scribe who puts the inventor’s ideas into action. For example, a draftsperson is a scribe. A welder is a scribe. However, if these individuals make suggestions or improvements to the inventor’s idea, they could also become inventors. As such, you must be careful in identifying the inventors of the idea being patented.
Another mistake many startups make is that they want to list an investor as an inventor. This would be a mistake. their goal is to give ownership of the patent to the investor. However, this would be improper since the investor could not make the statement in the declaration. As you can see, the person signing the declaration must state that they believe they are the original inventor. An investor cannot make this statement and is simply contributing financially. Now, if they make a suggested change or improvement to the idea, they could also become an inventor.
Who should sign the declaration?
One declaration should be prepared for each of the inventors to be listed on the patent application. The inventor him or herself must sign the declaration. Even if it’s a slash signature, no one but that inventor can sign the declaration.
When should the declaration be filed?
The declaration does not need to be filed with a provisional patent application. However, it is beneficial to have it filed with the provisional patent application. The reason is that you want to secure the signatures of the inventors while they are still willing to give them. If you wait, you never know what will happen to relationships. If the inventor decides not to sign the declaration in the future, then you’ll have a different set of problems on your hand. As such, it’s important to file the signed declaration with the filing of the provisional application.
For the nonprovisional application, the declaration does not need to be filed with the filing of the nonprovisional application. However, it is beneficial to have it signed and filed when you file the nonprovisional application. Why? The nonprovisional application cannot mature into a patent unless the declaration is signed and filed with the Patent Office. Once again, you don’t know what will happen in the future. Will your inventors still be willing to sign the declaration in the future? No one knows.