Patent specification refers to the collective name of various types of specifications published by national patent offices or international patent organizations. It is the main body of patent documents, including application specifications that have not undergone patentability examination, and patent specifications that have undergone patentability examination. The main function of a patent specification is to disclose new technical information and determine the scope of legal protection. In the patent specification, users can get all the technical information of the patent application and accurate legal information on the scope of patent protection.
How to read U.S.patents
► Introduction to the Content Composition of a US Patent
Usually the content of American invention patent is divided into four parts: Front Page, Drawings, Specifications and Claims.
1. The Front Page mainly introduces the basic data of the patent, such as patent application date, patent number, inventor's name, etc, and the abstract of the invention;
2. The drawings section contains the icon describing the invention;
3. Specifications describe the invention in writing;
4. Claims shall define the scope of protection of the patent.
The following content is illustrated in detail with the illustration in the patent document.
► Front Page
Cover mainly offer the basic information for the purpose, each basic data are marked in the upper left corner with the number of INID codes (Internationally agreed Numbers for the Identification of Bibliographic Data code; INID code). Each INID code represents different type of data. In the following content, we will introduces the connotation of several INID codes which we commonly used:
(12) textual interpretation of literature types
(54) name of the invention
(71) name of applicant
(72) name of inventor
(73) name of the recipient, holder or legal successor of the protected document
(21) application number
(22) application date
(63) the date and application number of the earlier application, and the current document is the continuation of the application
(51) international classification of patents or international classification of industrial designs
(52) internal classification or country classification
(58) search scope: refers to the United States patent classification number searched by the patent examiner when reviewing this patent
(10) literature marks
(45) the date of printing or similar publication of the authorized patent document on or before this date
(56) a separate list of comparative literature
For other INID codes and the types of information they represent, please refer to the introduction of INID codes by the USPTO:https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s901.html#d0e112030
A brief description of the invention in extremely short words is also included on the cover. The number of claims and illustrations included in the patent will also be indicated below the summary. In addition, the cover may include drawings of the patent.
U.S. patent law explicitly requires the applicant to provide an illustration of the subject matter of the application to the extent necessary, which contains an icon depicting the invention. Some diagrams will be numbered for different components to facilitate the description in the text section. The following illustration illustrates a patent filed by Apple company for a display screen or portion thereof with graphical user interface.
In addition, in American patents, the graphical representation of learned technology indicates Prior Art, whereas the graphical representation without Prior Art indicates invention. Readers can often understand the characteristics of invention by comparing the graphical representation of learned technology and new invention.
At the top of the representative chart, words indicate how many patents have been applied and how many charts does it have. As shown in the following figure, there are one claim and one drawing sheet in this patent, which means there are one patent application scope and one chart in this patent.
The Specifications describes the invention in words, from which the reader can learn the background, motivation and details of the whole invention. The description and illustration of the invention are generally intended for those who are familiar with the art. The graphic design listed in this article is relatively simple, and the reader can read the Specification to get a general idea of the design intention.
The scope of application for a patent, also known as a claim, defines the scope of protection of the patent. It is a simple description of the invention, the purpose of which is to make the reader quickly understand the outline of the invention in a short text.
► Reference and website
1.USPTO. Introduction to the INID code by the United States patent and trademark office. Retrieved from https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s901.html#d0e112030
3.如何閱讀美國專利？哈今的專利自學手冊。Retrieved from http://www.patent-tutorial.net/website/node/1102
5. INID代碼。Retrieved from https://baike.baidu.com/item/INID%E4%BB%A3%E7%A0%81/17508870
Written by: Stella Gao
Master Student of civil law and intellectual property law, Faculty of Law, University of Macau
依據《中華人民共和國知識產權行業標準 中國專利文獻號（ZC 0007—2012代替ZC 0007—2004）》，專利文獻號用9位阿拉伯數字表示，包括申請種類號和文獻流水號兩個部分。
依據《中華人民共和國知識產權行業標準 中國專利文獻著錄項目（ZC 0009—2012代替ZC 0009—2006）》，INID代碼是專利文獻著錄項目的識別代碼。Internationally agreed Numbers for the Identification of (bibliographic）Data的縮略語。
依據《中華人民共和國知識產權行業標準 專利文獻數據規範（ZC 0014—2012）》，法律狀態及事務公告共分為27個大類。
Before we read the European Patent Literature, we need access to the EPO search site. We can go directly to the https://worldwide.espacenet.com/，or Link to the http://www.cnipa.gov.cn/gzjxglj/xgljgwzyzscqwz/ via the State Intellectual Property Office's foreign page.
The European patent database offers three types of search,1.SMART SEARCH, ,2.ADVANCED SEARCH, ,3.CLASSIFICATION SEARCH
► SMART SEARCH
The smart search box lets you enter word or multi-word searches, or more complex search commands. All you have to do is type one or more words that describe the invention patent you are looking for, and then click search. Or you can enter the number of the patent file, the inventor, the name of the company, or the date or year of the patent file.
► ADVANCED SEARCH
If you want to combine various search terms, you can use advanced search. For example, you can search for patent documents from a particular year and country that have specific words in the title or abstract.
► CLASSIFICATION SEARCH
Classification search is the option to use if you are interested in finding all the patent publications in a particular technical area – a powerful tool used by professional patent searchers, it can take a bit of time to get used to.
There is no patent application for utility model in the type of patent application in Europe. Therefore in Europe can only apply for invention and design patents, the European Union design patent is directly to the European Union Intellectual Property Office, so this article mainly introduces the European invention patent application documents read.
The invention patent specification refers to an official document containing the components of the title page, the claims, the specification, etc., which are used to describe the content of the invention and to define the scope of patent protection.
When we are reading the literature, we will first notice the document number below the bar code. As shown in the figure below, we can find that each data has a code before it, and each code is different. The EU document number is composed of country code (EP) + various document serial numbers + document kind codes, and the specific meaning of the document kind codes will be attached below the icon①.
When we look closely at the contents of the literature, we will find that there is a code in front of each bibliographic data. These codes are referred to as Internationally agreed Numbers for the Identification of Data code (INID code), which is for the convenience of different languages. Codes that can be inter worked by patent advisory. The meaning of the INID code is described below.②。
① Document kind codes：
A1 European patent application published with European search report
A2 European patent application published without European search report (search report not available at publication date)
A3 Separate publication of European search report
A4 Supplementary search report
A8 Corrected title page of A document, ie. A1 or A2 document
A9 Complete reprint of A document, ie. A1, A2 or A3 document.
B1 European patent specification (granted patent)
B2 New European patent specification (amended specification after opposition procedure)
B3 European patent specification (after limitation procedure)
B8 Corrected title page of B document (i.e. B1 or B2 document)
B9 Complete reprint of B document (i.e. B1 or B2 document)
(10)Identification of the patent, SPC or patent document
(20)Data concerning the application for a patent or SPC
(30)Data relating to priority under the Paris Convention or the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement)
(40)Date(s) of making available to the public
(60)References to other legally or procedurally related domestic or previously domestic patent documents including unpublished applications therefor
(70)Identification of parties concerned with the patent or SPC
(80)(90)Identification of data related to International Conventions other than the Paris Convention, and to legislation with respect to SPCs
(21)Number(s) assigned to the application(s)
(22)Date(s) of filing the application(s)
(31)Number(s) assigned to priority application(s)
(32)Date(s) of filing of priority application(s)
(45)Date of making available to the public by printing or similar process of a patent document on which grant has taken place on or before the said date
(51)International Patent Classification or, in the case of a design patent, as referred to in subparagraph 4(c)of this Recommendation, International Classification for Industrial Designs
(54)Title of the invention
(57)Abstract or claim
(71)Name(s) of applicant(s)
(72)Name(s) of inventor(s) if known to be such
(74)Name(s) of attorney(s) or agent(s)
► Reference and website
Written by：Wang Jiamiao
Master Student of international law, Faculty of Law, University of Macau
How to read WIPO patents
► What does patent information cover?
Patent information comprises all information which has either been published in a patent document or can be derived from analyzing patent statistics. It includes:
Patents protect inventions for a specific period of time – generally no more than 20 years – and only in a specific country or a group of countries. Patents are published after a specific time – usually 18 months after filing – disclosing all the technical details of the invention. More particularly, the information in a patent document refers to the following:
Applicant: the name of the individual or company applying to have a particular technology protected;
Inventor: the name of the person or persons who invented and developed the invention;
Description: a clear and concise explanation of known existing technologies and problems associated with them and how the new technology is applied to solve these problems; specific examples of the new technology are also usually given;
Claims: a statement defining the scope of the protection sought or granted through the patent;
Citation and references: certain patent documents also include references to related technology information uncovered by the applicant or by a patent examiner during the patent granting procedure; these references and citations include both patent and non-patent documents.
The information contained in patent documentation can be aggregated to provide statistics on levels of patenting activity within or between countries and regions. Patent documents contain information in all fields of technology. The following search criteria can facilitate an effective technology search:
> publication number WO2003/071888
> application number PCT/US2003/003327
> priority numbers 60/358,607 US and 10/245,919 US
> filing date of 05.02.2003
> publication date of 04.09.2003
Written by: JIANG LEI
Master Student of Civil Law and Intellectual Property Law, Faculty of Law, University of Macau
What is a Patent?
Why researchers should care about patents?