The following patent, No. 277,272 was granted in 1883 for a chair. By this time in the United States, the USPTO had existed for over 75 years.“About the USPTO,” available at http://www.patent-search-information.com/USPTO.html. Read the patent and pay attention to the order in which things are described.
Let’s recap briefly some of the things we saw in the patent. The first paragraph sets forth who the inventor is, the citizenship and residence of the inventor, as well as a general summary (e.g. “improvements in Chairs”, etc.) of the invention. Modern patents likewise spell forth like information. The second paragraph dealt with a brief description of the drawings. The third paragraph focused on the objectives the patent sought to accomplish. From the fourth paragraph onward (almost until the end), a detailed description is given relating to the patent.
Much of the detailed description relates to going through each element shown in the accompanying figures. The mechanics of “how” the invention works or is constructed is generally disclosed in this section. The idea behind this is that enough needs to be disclosed so that another person reading the patent would be enabled to also create the invention. As you read through such paragraphs, you may find the description appearing a bit like a recipe: place top rail K on bar F, put together a base assembly comprising elements G H I and I, etc. The description therefore gives us enough information to enable us to construct the invention.
An interesting element of this patent found in Col. 2, line 97 – Col. 3, line 4 relates to other possible embodiments of the invention. On one hand, the patent notes that such an invention may be applied to other styles of chairs or seats, and possible applications may be found in railroad-cars, street-cars, and sofas. Such a disclosure is good because it shows other applications which the patent may possibly cover.
Claim 1 covers the removable back system and focuses on the two side posts with the top support bar (“girt F”). Claim 2 covers the removable back system and focuses on the two side posts, the top support bar (“girt F”) and the lower support bar (“girt E”). Notice how support for each claim was found in the patent specification. Additionally, recognize that the claim may be as broad or as narrow as desired. Claim 1 is arguably broader in that it only relies on the top support bar, whereas claim 2 relies on both the top support bar and the bottom support bar.
How would you alter or improve the application specification? For example, it may be good to not only mention other possible applications but actually give a detailed description of other applications. Such an invention may look considerably different from a stadium seat, to a railway car seat, or to an opera house seat. Merely mentioning may give some benefit. More details however give greater support showing how the patent is envisioned of being applied. Additionally, the type of support system used can also vary significantly. For example, rather than having a top or bottom support system, what if the support beam was in the middle of the backing with alignment posts on the top and/or bottom. What if the top bar was affixed to a single post (rather than two) that was attached to a chair assembly. The more you can think outside of the box of possible ways the invention will be applied, the more protection you give the invention.
|↑1||“About the USPTO,” available at http://www.patent-search-information.com/USPTO.html.|