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
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
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.
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