Note: This article is part of a series on how to write a great patent application.
The Brief Summary is supposed to be a summary of the information provided in the Detailed Description. However, that is not the current practice of patent attorneys. We utilize this section to provide an antecedent basis for each term in the claims.
Use the Brief Summary section to satisfy the antecedent basis requirement
Patent rules require that each word in the claims has an antecedent basis in the patent application. If you use a certain word in the claims, it needs to be repeated in another area of the specification. The assumption is that the specification acts like a dictionary. The reader can understand the claim’s terminology by reading about those terms in the specification.
We can satisfy the antecedent basis requirement by cutting and pasting the claims into the Brief Summary and then transforming the claim into smaller sentences, as shown below.
Here is a sample claim for our tripod example. We cut and paste it into the Brief Summary:
- A tripod for supporting a camera, the tripod comprising,
a ball head wherein the legs are pivotally attached to the ball head;
a button with the spring biasing the button outward, the button operative to apply a friction force to a ball of the ball head to set an angular position of the ball head.
After you cut and paste the claim into the Brief Summary section, you can modify the text to read as follows:
“In an aspect described herein, a tripod for supporting a camera is disclosed. The tripod may have legs, a ball head, a spring, and a button. With respect to the ball head, the legs may be pivotally attached to the ball head. The button may be spring biased outward with the spring. The button may also be operative to apply a friction force to a ball of the ball head to set an angular position of the ball head.”
You need to apply this paragraph/sentence format to all of the claims. You make multiple short sentences. Use the word “may” not “is” as shown above.
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.