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Utility Patents FAQs

Are there guidelines for completing utility patent applications?

The USPTO has established certain guidelines that an inventor should follow to describe his or her invention. These guidelines explain that an inventor must include:

(1) A title of no more than 500 characters;
(2) Clear instructions on how to make and use the invention (the "enablement" requirement);
(3) A summary of the invention;
(4) Drawings if necessary and an explanation of any enclosed drawings; and
(5) Claims about the patentability of the invention.

The descriptions in the application must be detailed enough to enable a person in the same field as the invention to make or use the invention using only those descriptions. (If the invention relies on any rare mineral or similar material for its creation or use, the applicant must deposit a sample of that material as well.)