A proper non-provisional patent application in the United States will have the following specific parts in order to comply with U.S. patent law.  If you fail to include or adequately disclose all of the following parts in a patent application, you could lose valuable patent rights.  Please keep in mind that the application parts below are not all required for a provisional patent application (see Provisional Patent Application vs. Non-Provisional Patent Application for more information).

Title of the Invention

The title of the invention is important to identify the invention that you are applying for patent protection on.  The title should be short, specific and descriptive of the invention.  No trademarks should be used in the title of the invention.

Cross-Reference to Related Applications

This section of the patent application allows you identify prior filed patent applications you are claiming priority to or that are related to your patent application.  If you fail to claim priority to a prior patent application, you will lose the right to claim priority at a later time.

Statement Regarding Federally Sponsored Research or Development

This is a short statement identifying any rights by the U.S. government to the invention made under a federally sponsored research and development contract (if any).

Background of the Invention

This is a short section identifying the field of endeavor the invention pertains.  Reference to known prior art technology is often times made here and the problems associated with the prior art technology.

Brief Summary of the Invention

This section provides the general substance of the invention and should focus on what the inventor believes are the unique features of the invention.

Brief Description of the Several Views of the Drawing

If you have patent drawings in your patent application (most application do), then a brief description of each figure is required.

Detailed Description of the Invention

This is one of the most important sections of a patent application.  This section will describe the structure along with the process of making and using the invention here.  It is required that the description of the invention be sufficient so that any person of ordinary skill in the art, science, or area of the invention could make and use the invention without extensive experimentation.  Failure to adequately describe your invention in this section will result in the loss of potentially valuable patent rights. 

Claim or Claims

This section is important because it describes the “intellectual property” you are attempting to claim ownership of.  The claims of a patent application can be difficult to understand, but your patent attorney can assist you with understanding “what” intellectual property is being claimed.  Keep in mind that even though you may be claiming an area of intellectual property, the U.S. Patent Office makes the final determination as to what intellectual property, if any, that you will receive.

Abstract of the Disclosure

The abstract is a short (150 words or less) description of the invention and is used to allow the public to quickly know what the invention is.


If your patent application requires drawings (most applications do), then you will need to include patent drawings.  Patent drawings are not technical drawings and instead have specific requirements set by the U.S. Patent Office to be proper.  Only a qualified patent drawings draftsperson is capable of preparing quality patent drawings for a patent application, so do not rely on anyone that does not have significant experience in preparing patent drawings.

Oath or Declaration

The oath or declaration in a patent application is signed by the inventor(s) where the inventor must make an oath or declaration that they believe they are the original and first inventor of the subject matter in the patent application.