When preparing a description for a patent application, it’s important to take your time and get all of the details right—because you cannot add any information after the application has been filed. Include all relevant information and make sure you haven’t included anything incorrect or misleading.

Use this checklist to make description writing simple.

When writing your description, check for all key elements needed for your description content:

  • Title
  • Technical area
  • Background details and previous artwork
  • A description of the problem your invention solves
  • A list of included drawings
  • Your in-depth description of the invention
  • An example of invention use

Don’t forget to think about alternatives.

One issue faced by all inventors trying to come up with their invention’s description is being able to think about all of the ways in which the invention could be made or used—not just how they envision it will be made and used.

“The way an inventor describes their invention is known in law as the preferred embodiment,” says Julia Sessions, a communications manager at Resumention. ”However, if you want to make sure your patent covers all potential applications for your invention, you need to think bigger.”

When you describe all of the different ways your invention could be made or used, even if it would be of a lower quality, all potential variations will still be covered by your application if there are any issues in the future.

Even if your invention could be used in a completely different way than you intended—like a table being used as a bookshelf, for example—you must include it in your patent application. Think big.

Use a professional to help you get it right.

It’s important to use a professional patent agent or patent attorney to help with the preparation of all patent-related documents, to ensure you have covered all necessary bases and everything is in line. Make sure everything is in the right format and edited correctly.

If you need guidance to help format and improve your description writing, you can try any number of tools:

Ensure your description is complete.

It’s important that your description is complete so that the patent application will meet the enablement requirement. This is a requirement that the patent includes enough information to make and then use the invention without the need to go back to the inventor for more details.

The aim is to give the public enough information to create the invention should the patent expire, so the description must be complete in order to fulfil this requirement. Again, a professional patent expert can help guide you with the requirements for this.

Make use of drawings.

One of the ways to ensure your description is complete is to include professional drawings that can be used to explain elements of functionality and uses, and to help explain different aspects of the invention. You are required by law to supply at least one drawing whenever one is required assist with understanding.

Hire a professional to produce patent drawings of your invention, explaining significant aspects of your patent. These can prove invaluable in the future if you need to contest anything in court, and can really support you with any claims.

Imagine every single detail, and consult others.

The aim is to ask for a patent for something that has never wholly existed before, so make sure your description includes every single detail, all of the variations, and all options and alternatives uses for it—in very great detail.

A vague description won’t succeed in the application process. Try describing it to someone who has absolutely no knowledge of the field in which it sits, to see if he or she understands how it works. Maybe this person will see it from a different angle and give you some other ideas.

Submitting a patent application is a very exciting time for any inventor, confirming you as the owner of your idea and cementing it in history as belonging to you. That’s why it’s really important to get it right before you submit an application.

By following these tips, you will be on your way to creating a complete detailed invention description that incorporates all of the alternative uses and ways to build your invention, making sure you are covered for any future infringements or claims.