How Do You Read a Patent? What do you really need to know?
Do You Know How to Read a Patent?
When I say read a patent I am referring to what might be
considered the minimum capacity needed by a small business person or
independent inventor to pick up, read, and understand a patent.
Do you need to have an in-depth knowledge of how to parse a patent
description or dissect a claim. Not really. But there are many times when you
may hear about a competitive patent and you would like to be able to pick it up
and study it long enough to know if it is something you should be concerned
To do that you need to be able to first study the cover sheet and
interpret it. If you are unfamiliar with patents, the cover sheet may seem
difficult to understand or even incomprehensible. Even for those who have
worked with patents, the significance of some of the items on the cover sheet is
not always fully understood.
And that's just the first page.....
A patent is actually a rather a complex document. Made up of
several parts, including a specification that describes the invention and how
to make and use it, claims that specify what is protected by the patent, and
drawings to help understand the invention. And then there is that cover sheet.
The cover sheet contains important information about the patent. That
information is of interest to many different individuals, including the
patentee, potential licensees, competitors, and attorneys and judges.
What we will do , in several parts is first:
Then we will move on to
talk about the specification - that is the main bulk of the patent.
The drawings are often
considered part of the specification - but we will review them separately.
Then we will talk about
So let's begin by going to Part II - The Cover
Patent - Part I
Patent - Part II - Cover Sheet
Patent - Part III -Specification
Patent - Part IV - Patent Drawings
Patent - Part V - Patent Claims