Note: This article is part of a series on how to write a great patent application.
A patent application’s Abstract briefly explains the gist of the invention.
Why is the Abstract important?
The Abstract is one of the first areas of a patent application that a reader will see. It’s printed on the first page of the pre-grant publication and the issued patent. Because of its prominent placement, it is important to describe the benefits of the invention and how those benefits are achieved in the Abstract.
Since the Abstract is also the first paragraph that an investor will read, this section should be designed to convince them.
Laypeople will start from the beginning of the application and work their way to the end. However, examiners and patent attorneys don’t start reading from the beginning. We start with the Detailed Description because that is where the invention is described. Nevertheless, the Abstract is placed in such a prominent position that the examiner and others are most likely going to read it too. Therefore, it should do a good job of educating the reader about the benefits of the invention and how those benefits are achieved.
What are the requirements of an Abstract?
You have to explain the invention in no more than 150 words. If you exceed that limit, the examiner will require you to shorten the length of the Abstract.
As such, you have to choose what not to include in the Abstract. This forces you to think about the most important aspects of the invention. What is the greatest benefit of the invention? Which structures or steps do the best job of achieving this benefit? You should know these things by heart, but if not, look to your outline for help.
Here are the minimum requirements of an Abstract:
- The Abstract must be 150 or fewer words. After you write the Abstract, use the word count tool in MS Word to stay within the limit.
- The Abstract should be one paragraph.
- The Abstract must be placed on a separate page from the other sections of the patent specification.
What is the purpose of the Abstract?
You might think that writing a good Abstract is difficult to do with a 150-word limitation. I have worked on hundreds of patent applications, and I have written a concise description of the benefits and how those benefits are achieved for each one. If I can do it, so can you.
The key to writing a good Abstract is to write it after you’ve written everything else. By then, you should have enough practice describing the invention and deciding what is its most important aspect. Include only these things in the Abstract. If you are still having problems writing a great Abstract, refer to your outline and write about the primary benefit and the primary means by which your invention achieves this benefit.
How to write the title
The title should be generic to the product or invention. For our tripod example, the title could be “TRIPOD” or “IMPROVED TRIPOD.”
Disclaimer: Use the information in this article at your own risk. It takes many years to learn how to draft a well-written patent application under the guidance of a senior patent attorney.
How to write a patent application?
- Step 1: How to write the abstract and title of the patent application?
- Step 2: Download a sample outline, numbering worksheet and patent template
- Step 3: How to develop the outline of your patent application?
- Step 4: How to show your invention through the drawings?
- Step 5: Which section of the patent application should be written first?
- Step 6: How to write a claim for your patent application?
- Step 7: How to write the detailed description section of your patent application?
- Step 8: How to write the brief summary section of the patent application?
- Step 9: How to write the background section of the patent application?
- Step 10: How to write the summary paragraphs of the Detailed Description and Brief Summary sections?
- Step 11: How to write the abstract and title of the patent application?
- Step 12: Reread your patent application over and over again