What Goes Into a Patent Application?

A proper patent application will have seven parts. Each part provides the Patent Office with a distinct kind of information that helps them understand the full breadth of the invention. The seven sections are:

  • Cover page
  • Drawings
  • Background
  • Brief summary of the invention
  • Brief description of the drawings
  • Detailed description of the invention
  • Claim set

Cover Page

The cover page needs to include six things: patent number, names of inventors, application serial number, abstract, prior art references, and representative drawings.


This section will have detailed pictures and diagrams of the inventions. The USPTO only accepts a few forms of drawings, so make sure you provide the correct format. All claimed elements must be depicted in the drawings.


Here you will basically state why you made the invention. Explain the problem it solves and how current technology doesn’t solve the problem as well as your invention.


For the summaries of the invention and drawings, you must give a brief version of detailed description and drawings. Sometimes it can be helpful to write and draw the detailed versions first, and then condense them for the summary sections.

Detailed Description

The detailed description is where you will lay everything out in painstaking detail. According to the USPTO, “The specification must be in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art or science to which the invention pertains to make and use the same.” This means the description needs to be written in a way that normal people in the industry will understand what the invention does.

Claim Set

Last, but certainly not least, is the claim set. In fact, this is actually the most important part of the application. The claim set is where you list everything you want the patent to protect. It should encompass the whole scope of the invention, but be careful to not overstep the boundaries or give yourself too little protection.

If you need help applying for a patent, call the patent lawyers at Parsons & Goltry. We can make sure your application is in order and help with post-approval proceedings.

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"Our company has worked with a number of patent attorneys and were so pleased when we began working with Parsons & Goltry nearly a decade ago. Mike Goltry's knowledge and attention to detail has enabled us to have numerous products patented and trademarks registered. We highly recommend this Law Firm."

- Sharon K.


"Michael Goltry is the most professional, honest and effective patent attorney whom I ever met in my 40 year professional engineering career. I started to work with him over 20 years ago and plan to work indefinitely."

- Zoltan Kemeny, PhD, Struct. Eng.


"Mr. Goltry took a provisional patent that we'd filed ourselves, and quickly and professionally turned our innovation into U.S. and foreign applications. His [patent claims] were a thing of beauty, and I was amazed by how deftly he countered the inevitable office actions. His language held up, and the U.S. Patent just issued. He was easy and efficient to work with, and his fees were remarkably reasonable. We're not planning to go anywhere else, ever."

- Ski Milburn, CEO, Victori, LLC


"I applied for a patent through Parsons & Goltry. After being on the docket for 2 years at the USPTO, I received notification that my patent request had been denied. Michael Goltry contacted me immediately to review my options. After I informed him of my decision to move forward, he filed a response to the USPTO. In his response he got the examiner to fully understand the claims in the patent application and the "denied" decision was reversed. I was able to secure and receive a "patent granted" decision. Thank you, Michael Goltry."

- Kathy H., Inventor


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