donderdag 5 november 2015

Patent tip: The main parts of a patent

Somehow, the number 3 returns in some essential aspects of patents. The first magic three is found in the three main and distinct parts contained in a patent. These parts are the cover sheet, the description and the claims.

Cover sheet

The cover sheet is indicating among other information, the persons in question, being the holder(s) of the right and the inventor(s) of the invention. The cover sheet thus indicates the economical player(s), who may benefit from the temporal monopoly.


The description is indicating the specifications of the invention. This is a very detailed technical description, mostly accompanied by some figures.

The description allows someone in the specific field of technology, with a basic technical background to understand and reproduce the inventions, without undue effort or excessive experimentation.


The claims define the scope of protection of the patent. The claims form are by nature the pure judicial part of the patent, delimiting the protection form the rest of the state of the art.

The claims delimit the monopoly monopoly of the holder from his competitors. They define a fine invisible demarcation tape, where to go and where to "trespass" i.e. where to infringe the right in force.

Magic combination of three disciplines

Looking from a bit more distance to these three main parts, the represent three key disciplines an economical, a technical and a legal discipline. Such combination of disciplines is in fact the core of technical enterprises. This combination renders patents by nature complex, yet makes them dauntingly interesting.

I wish you happy inventing!

Hendrik de Lange
Dutch and European patent attorney

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