How to apply for a patent
An application may be filed with either a provisional or complete specification. The application should contain:
- a request (Form IP 3);
- a description ;
- one or more claims;
- one or more drawings (where necessary); and
- an abstract (See descriptions below)
The following apply if an application is filed with a provisional specification
- unless the applicant files a final specification within one year after the application is filed, the application should be deemed to have been withdrawn;
- the final specification should not go beyond the disclosure in the provisional specification; and
- the filing of the final specification should not affect the filing date accorded.
The description should disclose the invention and at least one mode for carrying out the invention in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person having ordinary skills in the art to make use and to evaluate the invention and that description should include any drawing and relevant deposits as in the case of micro-organisms and self-replicable material which are essential for the undertaking of the invention. The description should
- state the title of the invention
- specify the technical field to which the invention relates;
- indicate the background art which, as far as it is known to the applicant, can be regarded as useful for the understanding, searching and examination of the invention; and
- indicate how the invention is industrially applicable
The claim or claims should define the matter for which protection is sought and should be clear and concise and fully supported by the description. In defining the matter for which protection is sought, a claim should set out
- the technical features that are necessary to define the subject matter of the invention but that are part of the prior art; and
- the technical features that, in combination with the features referred to in paragraph (1) above , define that for which protection is sought.
The features set out in the claim under paragraph (2)above should be preceded by the words “characterized in that”, “characterized by”, “wherein the improvement comprises” or any other words to the same effect.
Claims should not rely in respect of the technical features of the invention, on references to the description or drawings. In particular they should not rely on such references "as described in part...of the description , or "as illustrated in figure... of the drawing".
A referenced feature should be included in parentheses if the intelligibility of the claim can be increased by doing so.
If more than one claim is included in the application, the claims should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.
An application may include a claim stating the essential technical features of an invention with one or more following claims setting out particular embodiments of the invention. The claims setting out particular embodiments of the invention should include a reference to the claim stating the essential technical features of the invention. The claims setting out particular embodiments of the invention should state the features that it is desired that those claims protect.
The claims should be grouped together to the extent possible and in the most appropriate way. If more than ten claims are included in the application, the application fee should be increased by the excess claims fee payable for each of the claims in excess of ten
The drawings should comply with the following -
- the drawings should not be coloured;
- the lines of the drawings should be black, durable, uniformly thick and well-defined and should be drawn with the aid of drafting instruments;
- the drawings, including their scale and the distinctness of their lines, should be such that all details can be distinguished without difficulty when the drawings are reproduced photographically at two thirds their actual size;
- if the scale is given on a drawing, it should be given graphically;
- cross sections should be indicated by hatching that does not impede the clear reading of the reference signs and reading lines;
- all numbers, letters and other references signs should be at least .32 centimetres high and should be circled or within brackets or inverted commas;
- if the drawings show a feature mentioned in the description, that feature should be denoted in the drawings by a reference sign and that reference sign should be used throughout the application to denote that feature;
- the lettering on drawings should use the Latin alphabet or, where customary, the Greek alphabet;
- the different figures in the drawings should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals independently of the numbering of the sheets on which the drawings appear; and
- the drawings should not include text other than single words or phrases
The sheets of paper that drawings appear on should comply with the following:-
- the minimum margins should be as follows
- top margin, 2.5 centimetres;
- left margin, 2.5 centimetres;
- right margin, 1.5 centimetres; and
- bottom margin, 1.0 centimetres;
- the area within the margins should not exceed 26.2 centimetres by 17 centimetres; and
- there should not be a frame around the area of the sheet that is used or useable.
The abstract should merely serve the purpose of technical information; in particular, it should not be taken into account for the purpose of interpreting the scope of the protection sought.
The abstract should include the title of the invention; and a summary of the disclosure included in the description. The summary should indicate the technical field to which the invention relates and the principal use or uses of the invention.
The abstract should be drafted in a way that it can be used efficiently for searching in the relevant technical field and so that it is possible for a reader to assess, from the abstract, whether the description should be consulted. The abstract should not include statements about the merits or value of the invention or about uses that are speculative.
If applicable, the abstract should include the formula that best characterizes the invention. Unless it is impractical, the abstract should not contain more than one hundred and fifty words.
- All parts of the application should be in English.
- All pages of the application should be on durable white paper with a matt finish of the size known as A4 paper (29.7 centimetres by 21 centimetres).
- Each page of the application should be oriented with the short side at the top.
- Each page of the application, other than the request and the drawings, should have margins as follows
- top margin, 2.0 centimetres;
- left margin, 2.5 centimetres;
- right margin, 2.0 centimetres; and
- bottom margin, 2.0 centimetres (The margins should be completely blank.)
- Only one side of each page of the application, other than the request, should be used.
- The pages of the application should be bound so that they can be easily separated and rejoined.
- The pages of the application should be free of cracks, creases and folds.
- Each of the following should start on a new page
- the request;
- the description;
- the claim or claims;
- the drawing or drawings; and
- the abstract.
- The application should be in triplicate.
- Each of the following should be numbered as a separate series, using Arabic numerals with the numbers centred at the top of the sheets but not in the top margin: -
- the request;
- the description,
- claims and
- abstract; and
- the drawings
- Every fifth line of the description and the claims should be numbered with the number appearing to the left of the line but not in the margin.
- All parts of the application, other than the drawings and the request, should be typed or printed rather than hand-written and the following apply to the appearance of the text -
- the text should be dark and indelible;
- the line spacing of the text should be at least one and one half; and
- the capital letters should be at least .20 centimetres high.
- All parts of the application must be prepared so that they are legible when they are photocopied or otherwise reproduced.
- graphic symbols and characters, and chemical and mathematical formulae may be hand-written but must be dark and indelible.
- The request may be hand-written, typed or printed but the text must be dark and indelible.
- All parts of the application should be reasonably free of over-writings, insertions between lines, deletions or other alterations.
- All terms, signs and symbols used in the application should be used consistently throughout the application and should be the terms, signs and symbols generally accepted in the relevant field.