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What does a patent application need to contain?

A European patent application commonly contains the following parts:

  • Background, describing the prior art
  • Description of the invention
  • Claims
  • Abstract or summary
  • Examples and figures (optional)

A patent application should contain an appropriate description of the invention. While the claims of an application may be amended during examination, the rest of the application can not, and (most particularly in Europe), any amendments to the claims must be based on the application as filed. Thus, it is important to ensure that the application complies with the different requirements and anticipates any problems which Examiners may raise.

It is recommended to ask the advice of a qualified patent attorney to assist in the drafting of a patent application. An attorney not only is familiar with the specific formal requirements an application has to comply with, but also has the experience to anticipate potential issues that will be raised during examination.

De Clercq & Partners can provide you with assistance in the drafting of a patent application on your invention. Where available it can be of interest to start from a description of the background, the invention and the experiments provided by the inventors. Alternatively, De Clercq & Partners can draft the complete applications based on experimental data only.

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