A Guide to Patents: Appendix A
Format of the Application
A patent document is simply the final approved application. An example of the form of the application is given below. This should give you an idea of what your abstract, specification and drawings should look like.
- "In a tool for driving posts, it is known to have a guide depending from the hammer to freely embrace the post and slide longitudinally on it. In this invention, handles are secured to the guide such that they extend lengthwise along the outside of it. The tool with the handles may have a lighter hammer and thus may be manually operated, since the handles enable the operator to use his or her own strength to bring the hammer down on the post and hold it against rebound. The guide may have filling pieces secured to the inside to adapt its cross section to the cross section of the post being driven."
The specification begins immediately following the abstract or at the top of a new page and consists of un-numbered paragraphs dealing with the following matters in approximately the following order:
- The general character of the class of article or the kind of process to which the invention (that is, the inventive idea) relates.
- "This invention relates to a manually operable tool for driving posts into the ground."
- The nature, in general terms, of the articles or processes previously known or used that are supposed to be improved or replaced by the invention, as well as the difficulties and inconveniences involved.
- "It is common in devices for driving piles and posts to pull up a weight or hammer, for example, by a cable and overhead pulley arrangement, and drop it into the end of the pile or post. It is, of course, necessary that the hammer strike the pile or post squarely, and it has been proposed to provide the hammer with a depending guide which freely embraces and may slide up and down on the post to be driven. Tools of this type are, however, inefficient because the rebound of the hammer results in a loss of energy and a tendency to split the end of the post. They are, moreover, unsatisfactory for manual operation, because the hammer must be heavy to be effective, and the power of the operator is used only in raising the heavy hammer."
- The inventive idea the new article or process embodies, and the way using it overcomes the difficulties and inconveniences of previous practices or proposals.
- "I have found that these disadvantages may be overcome by providing a number of handles secured to the guide and extending lengthwise along the outside of it. Such handles permit the use of a lighter hammer and the elimination of the overhead arrangement, secure a greater effect for the same amount of energy, and reduce splitting of the post, since the power of the operator of the device is used not only to raise the hammer but also to bring it down on the post or hold it against rebound."
- A full description of the best way of using or putting into operation the inventive idea. If there are drawings, the description should follow a list of numbered drawings.
The following is an example of the form of the list and the description:
- "In drawings which illustrate embodiments of the invention, Figure 1 is an elevation partly in section of one embodiment, Figure 2 is a top view of this embodiment, Figure 3 is a section of the line III-III of Figure 1, and Figure 4 is a plan view of another embodiment having only two handles."
- "The tool illustrated comprises a guide 1 which is adapted freely to embrace and slide up and down on a post A which is to be driven. It may be of any suitable cross section, but, in the form shown, is a cylinder open at the bottom and closed by a plug 2 at the top which may be the top of the device. The plug 2, which acts as a hammer, fits within the cylinder 1 and is flanged at its edge so as to lie flush with the outer wall of the cylinder. Extending lengthwise of the guide 1 are handles 3 which may be formed from metal tubes, as shown or may, if designed, be made from rods or bars covered with wood facings."
- "The handles 3 are secured at their upper ends to bridge pieces 4, for example,, by welding, and the bridge pieces 4 are secured as by welding to the plug 2. At their lower ends the handles 3 are flattened for engagement between two arms of a sectional clamping ring 5 fitting around the guide 1 and clamped to it by bolts 6. The lower ends of the handles are extended below the clamping ring, as indicated at 7, for the attachment of extension members (not shown) and, for this purpose, bolt holes 8 are provided in the extensions 7."
- "In order to adapt a guide of circular internal cross section to a square post, segmental filling pieces 9 having their flat faces facing inwards may be secured inside it, the distance between opposed flat faces being slightly greater than the thickness of the post. Two filling pieces may be used as shown in Figure 3, but four may be used if desired."
- "In the embodiment shown in Figure 4 there are only two lateral extending handles instead of four as in Figures 1-3, but otherwise the construction may be the same as that described above."
- If desired, include other ways in which the inventive idea may be used or put into operation.
Next, there should be an introduction to the claims, put into these words at the top of a new page:
- "The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:"
The claims should begin on the same page immediately following this introduction. The following examples illustrate the general form which the claims should take:
- In the case of an apparatus:
- A manually operable tool for driving posts into the ground, comprising a hammer, a depending guide adapted freely to embrace and slide up and down on the post to be driven, and handles extending lengthwise outside of the guide and rigidly secured thereto.
- A tool as defined in claim 1, in which the guide is a cylinder closed at the top by the hammer.
- A tool as defined in claim 1 or claim 2, in which the guide has filling pieces secured to it in order to adapt its internal cross section to the cross section of the post to be driven into the ground.
- In the case of a process:
- A process for cleaning the surface of a metal, which comprises converting contaminating matter by chemical attack to a residual film which is readily removable by anodic treatment, and removing the formed film by connecting the metal as an anode in an electrolytic system.
- A process as defined in claim 1, in which the metal to be cleaned is iron or steel and the chemical attack consists of treatment of the metal surface with a strongly oxidizing acid.
- A process as claimed in claim 2, in which the residual film is removed in an electrolyte comprising one or more acids or salts thereof.
- In the case of an article:
- An insulated electric conductor comprising a metal sheath, at least one conducting core and, between the core and the sheath, highly compacted mineral insulation constituted by a mixture of two or more pulverulent mineral insulating materials at least one of which will, on exposure to the atmosphere, cause the formation, over the exposed area, of a skin or layer which is substantially impermeable to moisture.
- An insulated electric conductor as defined in claim 1, in which the insulating materials are calcium oxide and magnesia.
- An insulated electric conductor as claimed in claim 2, in which the proportion of calcium oxide in the mixture is between 25 and 40 percent.
- An insulated electric conductor as defined in claim 1, 2 or 3, in which the insulation resistance is not less than 250 000 ohms for an insulation thickness of 1.5 mm.
Your application must include a drawing whenever the invention can be shown by one. This would include almost all inventions except chemical compositions or processes. But even these can sometimes be illustrated by a drawing.
If an invention cannot be illustrated with drawings but can be with photographs, you may include, as part of your application, photographs, or copies of photographs, which show the invention.
Your drawing must show every feature of the invention defined by the claims. There are detailed, specific standards for such things as page size and quality of paper, so that issued patents are uniform in style and easy to read and understand. Drawings must meet the following requirements:
- Every sheet shall be 21.6 cm wide and 27.9 cm long and shall have a clear margin of at least 2.5 cm on the top and left side, 1.5 cm on the right side, and 1 cm on the bottom.
- The drawing shall be prepared with black lines sufficiently dense, dark, and well-defined to permit satisfactory reproduction, and shall contain no colour.
- Where figures on two or more pages are intended to form a single complete figure, the figures on the several pages shall be so arranged that the whole figure can be assembled without concealing any part of the partial figures.
- Elements of the same figure shall be in proportion to each other unless a different proportion is indispensable for the clarity of the figure.
- Cross sections shall be indicated by hatching that does not impede the clear reading of the reference characters and lead lines.
- Reference characters shall be clear and distinct and not less than 3.2 mm in height; the same character shall be used for the same feature throughout the application.
- The views shall be numbered consecutively.
- Each sheet of drawings shall be on sheets of good quality white paper free of creases and folds, and so presented as to permit direct reproduction by photography, electrostatic processes, photo offset, and microfilming.