patent specification is a techno-legal document that contains
the specific scientific details of the invention and the claims to
the patent rights. In a patent specification, the applicant is
required to disclose the invention completely. This disclosure must
include the best possible way of performing the invention. The
specification must be so comprehensive that it must enable an
ordinary person skilled in the same field as the invention relates
to, to perform the invention without undue effort. It is,
therefore, clear that a specification is an indispensable part of the
Types of Patent Specification:
A Patent specification may be Provisional or
Provisional Patent Specification:
When an invention has reached a stage where it can be disclosed
on paper but it is not complete, a provisional patent application
may be filed to claim a priority date. A provisional specification
reveals the invention for which the patent is sought sans the
claims. This means that while the invention is disclosed, the
formal claims need not be submitted just yet. A provisional patent
application must be followed by a complete specification within
12 months from the date of filing the provisional
Merits of a provisional patent application:
Priority Date: A
provisional application reserves a date for the patent.
Essentially, when the complete specification is filed within 12
months of filing the provisional specification, the date of
application of the patent will be the date on which the provisional
application was filed. This secures the priority date for the
invention against any other invention being developed in the same
12 months: The applicant
has 12 months to completely develop and define his invention.
During this time, the applicant can meticulously draft the complete
specification with the claims. This period of 12 months can also be
used to determine the economic feasibility of the patent.
Cost: A provisional patent
costs less as compared to a complete specification (in the initial
stage). If the patent is commercially viable then the higher cost
can be spent in obtaining the patent.
Patent Pending: After
filing a provisional patent application the applicant can use the
term Patent Pending insofar as the invention for which the patent
is applied is concerned. This could act as a bulwark against
Demerits of a provisional patent application:
Abandoned: If the complete
application is not filed within 12 months from the date on which
the provisional application was filed, the application will be
abandoned. This means that the applicant can no longer claim the
Substantially Similar: The
invention disclosed in the provisional specification must be as
equal to the complete specification. The invention disclosure has
to be substantially similar in the provisional as well as the
complete specification. The provisional specification must include
an enabling description of the invention and its best mode. This
essentially means that provisional specification must be framed to
cover same as that of the complete specification.
On the whole, a provisional patent application is a very useful
tool for securing a priority date for an invention that is nearing
completion, but still requires time to be developed fully. As long
as precaution is taken to draft the provisional specification
effectively and to file the complete specification within 12
months, a provisional application helps the applicant gain time to
refine his invention and draft the complete specification
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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