1. Introduction: Who drafts a patent specification

The drafting of a patent specification is a specialised task conducted by a specialist attorney: a patent attorney.

First, a patent attorney has to have some technical training so that they can understand inventions disclosed to them by their clients.  Secondly, the patent attorney has to have some legal training (especially in intellectual property law, including patent, design and copyright law) so that they would understand how best to protect their client's invention, from a legal point of view.  Many patent attorneys are engineers as well as qualified and admitted attorneys.  For example, I am an electronic engineer and hold a law degree as well.  My colleague, Vivien Lambiotte, is a chemist and a lawyer.

A patent attorney's training thus puts them in a position to understand an invention from a technical point of view and to advise their client as to the best protection available from a legal point of view.  Further training and experience is required to teach a patent attorney how to draft a patent specification.

A patent specification is a legal technical document and not a technical document generally known, used and drafted by technical people.  The drafting of a patent specification is somewhat of a black art or, somewhat like doing mathematics, you need a lot of hands-on experience.  You also have to understand the law.

Student patent attorneys generally regard the drafting of patent specification examinations as very difficult.  This need not be so.  I believe that the drafting of a patent specification is very logical and quite easy.  You certainly do not have to be a rocket scientist.  Once you have some technical qualification as well as a law degree behind you, you should be way clever enough to draft a patent specification.  You must now just learn a new skill:  you have to learn to think and to think critically about what you are writing when drafting the specification!  Thinking is not always taught well at university.

Now that we have established the nature of the background of a patent attorney and touched on the drafting of a patent specification, I will, over a series of articles, further explore the drafting of patent specifications, to hone my own skills and to hopefully provide some useful tips to students.

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.