Don’t give away too much when applying for a patent

Glenn W. Peterson

Protecting intellectual property is a priority for many Sacramento inventors. Applying for a patent provides protections and benefits to them they would not otherwise have. This makes filling out the application a crucial part of the process, and it needs to be done carefully in order to increase the chances of receiving an approval.

One of the places where many people make mistakes is in the Background section of the application. This section is comprised of two primary parts: Background of the Prior Art and Field of Use Statement. Inventors are not required to fill out these sections, but they would strongly be advised to do so. When individuals do fill out these sections, they tend to include far more information than they need to, which could actually work against them.

People often mistakenly consider the Background section as being about the invention, but it is not. Instead, it should include information regarding why the invention is needed. It should point out where it fulfills functionality lacking in other inventions. Those filling out patent applications should refrain from discussing prior art and how it compares to the new invention since this could backfire. Any description should remain vague in order to avoid giving a patent examiner an obvious reason for rejection.

There are additional reasons why a Sacramento inventor should not give away too much information when applying for a patent. However, the above provides at least a general outline regarding what to avoid in the Background portion of the application. Considering the important of protecting an individual’s intellectual property and how easy it is the make mistakes during the process, it would more than likely be a better course of action to work with an attorney with experience in this area of law.