Who Can File
While an applicant for patent may file and prosecute his own case, or may
be represented by a patent attorney or patent agent, the Patent and Trademark
Office usually recommends the use of an attorney or agent. Although
an inventor may prosecute the application, lack of skill in this
field often detracts from obtaining the maximum protection for the invention.
In most inventor-filed cases, the patent Examiner sees that the applicant
is unfamiliar with the proper preparation and prosecution,
and almost always urges the applicant to employ a registered patent
attorney or agent to prosecute the application, since the value of a patent
is largely dependent upon skillful preparation and prosecution. While the
Examiner may recommend hiring an attorney or agent, he never suggests
any particular one.
In addition to being a qualified attorney-at-law, a patent attorney
is technically trained, usually having a degree in engineering
or in one or more of the sciences. A patent agent is also technically
trained with a degree in one or more of the sciences but
is not an attorney-at-law. In order to use the title "Patent Attorney"
or "Patent Agent", the attorney or agent must satisfy the Commissioner
of Patents of his character and competence in both technology and
law and be registered to practice before the Patent Office, by passing
a difficult examination on the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent
Patents fall into four general types: (1) Utility
patents, usually referred to as "patents" without any further qualification,
(2) Design patents which cover the ornamental appearance of various
products, (3) Plant patents which cover asexually
reproduced varieties of plants, e.g. hybrid roses, fruit trees bearing
new types of fruit, etc., and (4) Semiconductor chip masks which are not
called patents but are handled by the Patent and Trademark Office.
For the grant of an ordinary, or utility patent, the invention must
fall into one of four statutory classes of invention, which are (1) a process,
(2) machine, (3) article of manufacture, (4) composition of matter, or
(5) an improvement on an existing invention in one of those classes of
invention. A valid patent secures the right to its owner to
exclude others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention in
the United States and its territories and possessions for a limited period
Types of Patents
On June 8, 1995 the law was changed whereby the term of a utility patent
filed after June 8, 1995 is 20 years from the filing date, or if
it claims "priority" of an earlier patent application, 20 years from the
filing date of the earlier patent application. On patents now in
force or granted on applications filed before June 8, 1995 the term is
20 years from the filing date or 17 years from the issue date, whichever
is greater. Design patents, which are granted only on the basis of
ornamental design, have a term of 14 years from the issue date.
A patent application consists of a written description of the invention
or specification, together with illustrative drawings to disclose the invention,
and claims. The disclosure or specification of the application is
required by law to be sufficient for one skilled in the art to which the
invention pertains to be able to practice the invention. At
the end of the application or patent are a series of numbered paragraphs
called "claims". The claims define the scope, range or area of the
invention. The scope of the claims is interpreted from the disclosure
or specification and technology existing prior to the filing of the patent
A patented invention is a piece of property similar in some respects
to real estate. In fact, a patent has certain legal similarities
to a deed for land. A land deed defines the property owned by "metes
and bounds", a precise statement of the length, breadth, and direction
of the legal boundaries. The claims of a patent define the
boundaries of the invention. In the case of land, a fence is used
to enclose the property owned. In the case of a patent, the claims
enclose the invention and determine the boundaries of the inventive
property. You should keep in mind that it is not so important
that you get a patent as it is that you get a patent with carefully drawn
claims which express your invention broadly enough to prevent others from
taking the essence of your invention by making minor changes and producing
a product which is not covered by your patent. This takes
a high level of skill and experience in the attorney or agent who
is preparing and prosecuting the patent application.
The preparation and filing of a patent application on an uncomplicated
mechanical invention normally involves attorney's fees
from $3,000.00. More complicated mechanical cases and
electrical and chemical cases may run higher and are usually estimated
by using the attorney's usual hourly rate. In addition to the
attorney’s fees, there is a charge of about $135.00 per sheet of
patent drawings and the Patent Office filing fee which,
for an individual or small business (less than 500 employees), is half
that of a large corporation. The patent application fees are in addition
to the charge for the patent search. In the absence of suitable arrangements
for credit, patent application work is done on a prepaid basis usually
requiring one-half of the estimated charge for the patent application in
advance before work on the patent application is commenced, and the balance
paid prior to the actual filing of the application.
The preparation and filing of a patent application requires one or two
months after the search results are in and reported, although this
time may be reduced when the circumstances demand it. Also,
in rare cases, e.g., a close public use or sale date, where the client
insists, the application may be filed without a search. This
is not recommended and is undertaken only when the client is willing to
sign a statement that the filing is being done at the client's request
without a search.
A person may obtain an early "priority" date by filing a "Provisional Application"
provided a "regular" application is filed within 1 year of the provisional. The
provisional application does not require an oath or claims, but must
have a specification and drawings which describe and show the invention
in sufficient detail to enable one skilled in the art to practice the invention
(like a regular patent). The government filing fee is $100 for small entities
and $200 for large entities, and the attorney fees are about one-half the fee for
a regular patent application.
The provisional application cannot mature into a patent, is not examined,
and cannot claim priority of an earlier application, and will automatically
become abandoned 1 year after filing. The "regular" patent,if filed within 1
year, can claim "priority" of the filing date of the provisional application for
defensive purposes. The 20 year patent term does not start on the filing date of
the provisional application, it starts on the filing date of the regular application.
A person may also file a regular application and then within 1 year
convert it to a "provisional" by filing a petition and paying a fee and then file
another regular patent within 1 year to extend the term to 21 years.
The provisional application has replaced the discontinued "disclosure document" program,
discussed hereinafter. The advantage of a provisional application is that it
would put the application on file and give the inventor 1 year to further develop
the invention, determine marketability, or seek financing and licensing, under a
"patent pending" status. The disadvantages are: (1) it does not not necessarily mean
that you will be able to obtain a patent, (2) it starts the 1 year time
bar running to file the "regular" U.S. patent and any foreign patent applications
if you have sold or publically disclosed your invention, and (3) it prolongs
the examination and issuance of a patent with inforceable claims. There is no
protection during the period in which the provisional application is pending in
the sense that action could be taken against another who copied the invention.
A patentable invention may be of value because it represents a piece of
saleable property. It may be sold or licensed to others to produce
income or capital gain. A patent may also be of value to protect
a business effort against competition. Finally, a patent may be an
asset to a company, a value as a part of the technical literature, and
the ego value to the inventor of having it known that he is the inventor
of a patentable invention. Therefore, the decision to file
a patent application will usually be based not merely on patentability
but also upon the commercial value or potential to the inventor in
terms of his entire business.
to File for Patent
The patentability search is usually carried out in U.S Patent databases
and in the Patent Office public search room and in some of the
foreign patents collected by the Patent Examiners. The classification
system is very complex and there are a substantial number of patents missing
from the public search files and so even the best search is probably only
80-90% reliable. By that, we mean that if a patent application is
filed the Patent Examiner in 80-90% of the cases may find prior art which
is better than that found by the patent searcher. Relevant patents
found on the search not only determine whether the invention is patentable
but also are of value in enabling the attorney or agent to prepare a better
patent application which has claims of maximum breadth without too much
danger of being irretrievably rejected on prior art. A skillful attorney
or agent can point out the novel features of the invention in a manner
distinguishing over the references.
In the initial conference with the attorney or agent, the invention
should be disclosed, preferably with sufficient sketches or drawings
and a written summary of the advantages and features of the invention.
To evaluate patentability, the attorney or agent, in most circumstances,
recommends a limited novelty or pre-examination search. The
limited search and related patentability opinion generally require
some four to six weeks. At a premium cost, it is sometimes possible
to get a search done in as short a time as one to two weeks.
A fairly reliable patentability search and opinion costs about $500
on relatively uncomplicated mechanical inventions. More
complicated mechanical searches, and electrical
and chemical searches may be more expensive because more time is
required by the searcher and also by the attorney or agent in preparing
a patentability opinion. The attorney or agent can give you a more
accurate estimate of the likely cost of your search. For new
clients without established credit, prepayment is required
An invention is considered to be patentable if it fits into one of the
statutory classes of invention listed above, viz., (1) a process, (2) machine,
(3) article of manufacture, (4) composition of matter, or (5) an
improvement on an existing invention in one of those classes of invention,
and not shown precisely by the prior art or would not be obvious
from the prior art. In addition, the invention may not have been
in public use or on sale, in the United States, prior
to the date of making the invention or more than one year prior to the
filing date of the patent application.
As discussed above, if you intend to obtain patent protection
only in the U.S., you can have your invention in public
use or on sale or in publication before you file for
patent, but not more than one year before filing. However, if you
expect to file any foreign patents, you must be cautious
about early public use or sale of your invention.
In most of the world, except for the United States, any public use or sale
of the invention prior to filing for patent will invalidate the patent.
If it is your intention to file in foreign countries, it is recommended
that you file your regular or provisional U.S. patent application
before any public use or sale.
Approximately three weeks after your application is received in the Patent
Office, it will send back a return postcard mailing receipt showing the
filing date and serial number for your patent application.
A few weeks later an official Patent Office filing receipt will be received
which will indicate that your application has been assigned to an examining
group specializing in the field of your invention and your application
will be examined in turn in the chronological order in which they are received.
If you are manufacturing your product, you may mark it "Patent Applied
For" or "Patent Pending", as desired. However, the Serial Number
of the patent application should not be used in such notice.
of U.S. Application after Filing
The Examiner assigned to your application will make a very thorough
search of the prior art available in the Patent Office. Their search
will include U.S. patents, foreign patents, periodicals, books, and any
other publications that are pertinent to the invention which have been
printed earlier than one year before your filing date.
The Examiner will compare those references to your invention to determine
novelty, originality, and utility of your invention over the existing prior
art. He also determines if your application is in compliance with
the Patent Office legal requirements and formal matters. Depending
upon the work load in the group and the complexity of the invention,
this may take anywhere from three months to a year or more.
Upon completion of the examination, you will be notified in writing
of the Examiner's findings and initial decision on your case. This
is known as the first “Office Action”. This first action will contain
pertinent references and any reasons for rejection, objection, or mistakes
in the application. The rejections or objections,
if any, may be based on prior art, or the concept itself. Sometimes,
the Examiner will allow some claims and reject others or object to the
claim language. In the event the Examiner finds no significant matter
in the claims for objection or rejection, the claims will be allowed as
filed. This is known as a "First Action Allowance."
A patent does not issue until all claims are allowed. You are
not certain of obtaining a patent until you are notified that at
least one of the claims is allowed. The prior art found by
the Examiner may include a patent which is nearly identical to your invention,
or is similar in function or construction. Even if a single patent
does not contain all of the elements or features of your invention,
the Examiner may combine various elements and features found in different
inventions and based on the combination, take the position
that your invention would be obvious to those skilled in the art.
This type of rejection is sometimes difficult to overcome.
Since you know your invention better than anyone, the attorney or agent
may ask you to review the references cited by the Examiner and assist in
pointing out the novelty of your invention over the references. Rejections
are very common, and you should not become discouraged
if your application is rejected in the first office action.
The rejection is often necessary no eliminate or clarify overlapping areas
between an existing patent and the new application. At this point,
if there are rejected claims, a judgment must be made as to the validity
of the examiner's position.
You will be given a three-month time period to respond to the action, otherwise
the application will become abandoned. The time for response may
be extended for up to four months by paying additional extension
fees for each month extended. To prosecute the application further,
the attorney or agent prepares an answer to the Office Action which is
usually referred to as an “Amendment”. This answer may amend the
claims to better distinguish the invention from the patents cited by the
examiner. It always includes a discussion of the differences
between the patents cited by the examiner and the applicant's invention,
and it may also be necessary to include a legal argument as
to why this particular application should be allowed.
At the time of filing a patent application, there is no way of
knowing whether an Amendment will be required, and if one is, how much
time and effort will be involved to argue the case. There may be
more than one action and amendment and possibly an oral interview with
the Patent Examiner, but usually the second Office Action is either
a "final rejection" or the patent may be granted. If the Office
Action is made final, all claims may be rejected or some rejected and some
allowed. If claims are rejected finally, a choice is presented between
taking an appeal, submitting an amendment, interviewing the Examiner
or canceling the rejected claims. An "Appeal" requires a lengthy
legal brief before the Board of Appeals which includes reciting appropriate
case law in an attempt to reverse the Examiner's decision after the Application
has received a final rejection. It is sometimes
necessary for the attorney to appear before the Board of Appeals
to argue the case personally.
The total time for prosecution of the application after filing may take
as long as one to one and one-half years. Most of that time lapse
is spent awaiting actions by the Patent Office. The costs
of prosecution of the application are in addition to the original attorneys
fees, filing fees, drawings, etc. paid when the case was filed.
The attorney charges separately for the prosecution, usually basing his
fee on his time and the complexity of the matters involved. Some
attorneys or agents may file a simple Amendment at no charge or a small
fee to the client. In some instances, the case may
be argued at no charge unless successful. On some occasions a trip
will be made to the Patent Office to personally interview the case
with the Examiner where the expenses of the trip are shared among
several clients. In some cases the cost of the
prosecution could be nearly as much as the cost of the preparation and
filing of the application.
Once the Application is in order, and all rejections and objections have
been overcome, the prosecution is over. A "Notice of Allowance" will
be mailed to the attorney or agent. This again may take several months.
The Notice of Allowance also calls for payment an "Issue Fee" which must
be paid within 3 months from the date of the notice or the case will become
abandoned. The amount of the issue fee for independent inventors
and small businesses is half that of large companies (more than 500 employees).
For an additional fee, you may also order advance copies of your
patent which will be mailed with the official copy of the patent when it
is printed. The government fees fluctuate in accordance with
the latest consumer price index (CPI) figures.
Several months after the issue fee is paid, the attorney or agent
will receive an "Issue Fee Receipt" which will give the Patent Number assigned
to the invention and indicate the date on which the patent will be printed
Your patent is good for 20 years from the filing date, however "Maintenance
Fees" will be due to maintain the patent in force for a set period of years.
No maintenance fee is required on design and plant patents.
The first maintenance fee is payable between 3 and 3 1/2 years for maintaining
a patent in force beyond 4 years; the second is payable between 7 and 7
1/2 years for maintaining a patent in effect beyond 8 years; and
the third is payable between 11 and 11 1/2 years for maintaining a patent
in effect beyond 12 years. The fees for large companies (more than
500 employees) are double the amounts for independent inventors and small
The maintenance fee must be submitted to the Patent Office within the
time periods, or within a 6 month grace period
accompanied by an additional surcharge. If the maintenance
fees are not so paid, the patent will expire on the anniversary of the
grant date in the 4th, 8th, or 12th year after patent was issued.
By the time the maintenance fees are due, you will probably have a better
idea of the value of your invention. If the invention
appears to be valuable, you may want to pay the
appropriate fee to maintain the patent in force for the next four year
period. On the other hand, if the invention then appears to
be valueless, you can allow the patent to expire.
There is no protection during the period in which the application is pending
in the sense that action could be taken against another who copied
the invention. There is protection, however, against another who
filed a patent on the same invention later than your effective filing date. The
first applicant to file will be awarded the patent in about 80% of the
cases. In the other 20%, the rival inventor was able to prove that he made the
invention first. There are several procedures, e.g., petition to make special,
interviews with the Examiner, etc., which may expedite the issuance of a patent
application where there is an infringement going on.
During Pendency of Application
The use of the "Patent Pending" or "Patent Applied For" notice is used to caution
competitors that a patent may be issuing on the product in question. If a competitor
manufactures and sells infringing products during the period of pendency of an
application, he runs a risk of loss of the cost of his tooling-up for production,
loss of the value of his advertising and loss of the value of his inventory on
the date the patent issues, which date is normally unknown to him. Also, if he
continues infringement after the patent is granted, there are cases holding such
infringement to be willful and subject to punitive damages. For these reasons,
the patent pending notice may be highly effective.
Many inventors, and businessmen investing in new inventions, have the mistaken
belief (1) that it is necessary to obtain a patent to put a product on
the market, and (2) the grant of a patent on an invention insures
that the new product is not infringing any other existing patents.
Neither is true.
Infringement By Invention of New Invention
There is no requirement of law that one get a patent for a new invention.
A patent may be useful to protect your business against competition, or
to sell or license, but there is no legal requirement to obtain a patent.
It is also possible to obtain a patent on an invention and, at the same
time, infringe someone else's patent by the practice of the invention.
For example, the Patent Office grants patents on "improvements" and a patent
on an improvement may be a valid patent, but the practice of the invention
may infringe some earlier patent which has not yet expired. Note
that patents expire in 20 years (or sooner if the maintenance fees are
not paid) and cannot be extended.
The ordinary patentability search does not cover all patents which the
subject invention might infringe, also in some cases a patent may not be
found by the patent Examiner during the examination process. An infringement
search is different and more comprehensive than a patentability search.
If an inventor, or businessman-investor, is contemplating a substantial
investment in the invention or the use of the invention commercially,
a patent infringement search may be needed. Infringement searches
are considerably more expensive than patentability searches and can cost
several thousand dollars.
Sometimes in dealing with others, it is necessary to
prove just when the invention was made. This may be when the
inventor has submitted the invention to another for sale or licensing and
he subsequently suspects that the invention has been stolen. Sometimes
proof of an inventor's conception and the date of his first disclosure
to others may be required.
A copy of the disclosure, suggested above for submission to the patent
attorney or agent, may be read and witnessed by a friend or
patent attorney or agent capable of understanding it and used as proof
of conception and/or disclosure of the invention. It should be witnessed
by signing and dating with some phrase such as "Read, witnessed and understood,"
each sheet of written description or drawing constituting the disclosure.
This material is only one item of evidence in the long and complicated
procedure of determining priority of inventorship between two or
more parties. Do not have such papers notarized! You need a
witness to the contents of the disclosure not a verification of your
If proof of invention is needed in the Patent Office, as where there
is another patent application on file claiming the same invention
as yours, you will need proof of things done toward building
and testing the invention. An earlier conception date will
almost never succeed against a rival applicant for patent who has
an actual constructing and testing of his invention prior to your filing
date. Consequently, all invoices for purchase of materials and parts
used in the developmental effort, and other documentary evidence of the
continuance and progress of the work on the invention should be preserved.
A person who is not an inventor or co-inventor should be asked to observe
enough of the work, and all of the tests, to be available as a corroborating
witness. The inventor's or inventors' testimony is
not acceptable in conflicts of this type unless corroborated.
If the corroboration of the underlying facts of the invention
by a witness other than an inventor or co-inventor and documents written
by other than the inventor or co-inventor establish a diligence in working
toward building and testing the invention or getting it ready for filing
a patent application, then the inventor may get credit for the date of
his first disclosure to others in a conflict as to priority of invention.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office eliminated its Disclosure Document Program
on February 1, 2007. Previously, the Disclosure Document Program provided inventors
not ready to file for a patent with an alternative method of establishing the
"date of conception" of an invention. In the United States, priority for a patent
goes to the person who is "first to invent" rather than to the person who is
"first to file" a patent application. The "date of conception" is important in
establishing who the first inventor is in the event another inventor applies for
a patent for the same invention. The disclosure document was not a patent
application and did not provide any benefits beyond establishing a conception date.
Inventors not ready to file a full patent application are encouraged to file a
"provisional patent application". The provisional application provides more benefits
and protections to inventors than the disclosure document. A provisional patent
application establishes a filing date and allows the term "patent pending" to be
applied to the invention. See "provisional application" above.
Inventors are also encouraged to maintain conventional witnessed records, drawings,
sketches, etc., as evidence of the date of conception of the invention.
U.S. inventors can obtain patent protection in virtually every nation of
the world, except for a few underdeveloped countries. The attorney can advise you of the type of protection available in each
country and handle the preparation and filing of applications in each country
through his foreign associates. One should anticipate that each foreign country application will cost about the same as the U.S.
application. There is no "international patent" available at this time, except for a group of former French colonies in Africa.
The international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) simplifies foreign filing
by filing a PCT application. Also, if one wishes to file in Europe,
there is a central European Patent Office, which simplifies filing but
separate national patents are granted.
and PCT Application
There is a simplified procedure for filing in foreign countries and
also the U.S. under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The
PCT patent application is filed initially designating the particular countries
you intend to file in (or all countries) during the "international stage".
If the PCT application is filed within 1 year of the U.S. Filing
date, you may claim priority of the earlier U.S. filing date for overcoming
prior art. A PCT application can be filed after the 1 year period,
provided the invention has not been sold or published, but cannot
claim priority after the 1 year period. The Government filing
fees for initially filing the PCT application designating all countries are approximately $3000 (not counting attorney fees).
Then 30 months from the PCT filing date or the priority date the PCT
application will enter the "National Stage". At the national stage, the application is sent to each of the designated countries
for national filing in each country including processing (translating and local filing fees).
The cost usually averages about $2,500 per country. Foreign patent protection can be very expensive.
Depending upon the number of countries, the total costs could be as much
as $35,000 - $40,000. Foreign countries also charge an annual annuity starting from the date the application is filed in that country
which runs about $250-$300/yr. Due to the expense, most clients do
not file foreign patents unless they have a very strong market in those
countries. The expense could be reduced by selecting only a few major
Many individual inventors call or come into this office for information
on marketing their ideas or inventions. Often, they have just seen
or heard a TV or radio commercial about a free “inventors kit” or have
talked to a representative of a company named XXX Marketing, XXX
Submission Corporation, or a company having the words Product Development
or Invention Development in the business name.
At the start, we tell them “Beware of Invention Marketing or Development
Firms”. In particular, have nothing to do with such a firm
if they will not give you references of inventors they have helped, and
statistics as as to how many inventions they have handled over the period
of years that they have been in business , and out of that number, how
many of those were sold for more money than they charged for their fees.
If they say that they cannot or will not give you this information,
they are fraudulent. The law of the State of Texas requires that
such information be given. Also, beware of invention marketing firms
that require large, e.g., several thousand dollars,
front end payments. When is the last time you heard of a real estate
broker getting large front end payments? Almost never! The
real estate brokers have just as much, if not more, overhead, labor, office
expenses, advertising, etc., expense as invention marketers but they make
their living from commissions only.
The Attorney General of the State of Texas has closed down several
of these "Invention Marketing" firms for fraud and violation of Texas
statutes and keeps a close eye on similar firms which advertise highly
We generally advise inventors to look carefully at the invention they
are trying to sell. Is it protectable by patent or copyright or as
a trade secret? If so, it may possibly be saleable. If
not, it probably cannot be sold for any price. Get a patent search
first to make sure the invention has not already been patented and determine
if it is a protectable concept. Then get an unbiased evaluation
from an invention evaluation service such as those at the University Of
Houston Small Business Development Center. The answers obtained will
help one determine whether the concept is worth the money that it is going
to cost to get it patented.
There are certain records which you should keep with respect
to your invention for protecting the invention prior to filing for patent
and to assist your attorney or agent in preparing an application.
Such records, if complete, will always make the preparation of the application
easier for the attorney or agent and perhaps less expensive for the client.
For Your Invention
Complete written records should be kept: (1) showing the name
or names of the inventors, (2) showing the date of conception of
the invention, referring to witnessed drawings and written
description, (3) engineering drawings and material specifications
where available, (4) the ordering of materials for and description of
the construction and operation of the invention, (5) any
experiments carried out leading to the successful completion of the invention.
These records should be given to the attorney or agent for use in ordering a
search and/or in preparing a patent application. You should note that a patent attorney or agent is bound by law to keep
your invention confidential and not make any use of it for his benefit
or disclose it to others except as required in representing you.
A good written disclosure to the attorney or agent for use in your case
should include the following, to the extent such information is available:
1. Full name and post office mailing address of inventor
or inventors. Note that it is the inventor’s responsibility
to keep the attorney or agent aware of changes in address. If the attorney or agent cannot reach the
inventor during the prosecution of the patent application,
there are many instances where the right to obtain a patent may be lost.
2. If there are two or more joint inventors, indicate
the contribution to the invention by each, if known.
3. Note that mere contribution of financial support
to an inventor does not make the investor a joint inventor. The investor
can have an interest in the patent application assigned to him but cannot be on the application
as an inventor. If the inventor has assigned the invention to another, or if his employer or other backer owns any interest
in the invention, identify the name and address and interest owned by such other person.
4. Note the following important dates concerning
the invention and attach pertinent information relating to:
a. Any disclosure
to the public by publication, offer for sale and actual sale of a device
embodying the invention.
b. Conception by the
inventor, of each of the various significant new features which make up
c. Disclosure by the
inventor to another person of each significant feature of the entire invention.
d. First drawing showing
all significant novel features which make up the entire invention.
e. Records of experiments
and tests of the invention or parts thereof (especially the first actual
successful use or operation of the invention), plus a brief written description of
5. The written description of the invention should
a. general subject
matter or field of the invention;
b. note the particular
problems which the invention solves and how solved;
c. a drawing showing
the best form of the invention and any suggested alternatives;
d. a description of
the invention shown in the drawings;
e. reference to and/or
copies of any publications or patents known to the inventor that describe
the problem solved by the invention or disclose other efforts at the same function or result
as that of the invention;
f. a list of advantages
which the invention has over comparable products, methods, compositions,
etc. already known or in use for substantially the same purposes.
(To Be Completed)