WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PATENT ‘SPECIFICATION’ AND A ‘PATENT APPLICATION’?

A patent application consists of:

  1. A patent request form, which includes details such as the identity of the applicant for the patent and the inventor, the title of the invention for which patent protection is sought and the details of any earlier patent applications from which priority is claimed; and
  2. A patent specification, which is a technical and legal document that describes the invention and sets out the scope of the exclusionary patent right that is sought. Unless the patent specification describes a pharmaceutical or chemical invention then it will almost always include drawings. If the patent application is for a standard or an innovation patent then the patent specification must end with a set of patent claims. If the patent application is for a provisional patent application then the patent specification isn’t required to end with a set of claims. So you see, a patent specification is the part of a patent application that describes and claims the invention.

Since most attention is focused on the patent specification during examination of a patent application, people often tend to refer to the patent application and the patent specification as if they were the same thing.



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