A patent specification is a technical document describing the invention. To explain an invention, a description of the same is essential and the description of the patent is called ‘specification’.
An invention needs to be explained to enable the general public to use the invention after the expiry of the protected period. The specification is an essential part of the patent application. The description of the invention in the specification is, in fact, the consideration in lieu of which an exclusive right in the form of patent is granted.
Nature of the Patent Specification:
A patent specification is not merely a description of the invention but it is also a technical and legal document. The importance of the claims in a specification is realized when the technical interpretation of the specification considered by the Examiner in the Controller’s Office. The description should satisfy the Examiner concerned that there indeed is an invention. The importance of specification arises when any party alleges that the specification of the applicant does not fully and sufficiently describe the invention and opposes the application on such ground. The specification has then to successfully meet the ground of opposition which it can only if it gives sufficient description of the invention.
Kinds of Specification:
A specification under patent law is of two types:-
- Provisional Specification– When an inventor is in the process of finalizing his invention, he may file a specification known as ‘Provisional Specification’ which is not a full and specific description. It contains only a general description of the invention, its field of application and anticipated result. The provisional specification need not to contain the claims. A provisional specification is filed to fix the priority date of the patent.
- Complete Specification-The Complete Specification is the full description of the invention containing all the claims over which applicant seeks monopoly right. The object of a complete specification is to define clearly and with precision the monopoly claimed so that others may know the exact boundaries of the monopoly right of the applicant.
Section 9 of the Indian Patents Act, 1970, provides that where an application for a patent (not being a convention application or an application filed under the Patent Co-operation Treaty designating India) is accompanied by a provisional specification, a complete specification is shall be filed, within 12 months from the date of filling of an application, and if it is not so filed, then the application shall be deemed to have been abandoned.
Every Specification, whether provisional or complete, shall be made in Form 2 as specified in the Patent Rules, 2003.
Importance of Specification
The specification is the essence of the invention. It builds the boundaries around the monopoly right of the applicant. Anything falling outside the limits of such boundary cannot be claimed by the applicant. Any right within the limits of the specification cannot be denied. Therefore, the drafting of the specification is of utmost importance in creating the exclusive right and maintaining such rights. The claims must include all possible equivalent variations of the invention to guard against infringement. The aim of the applicant should be to obtain the broadest possible valid claims. The validity of a patent can be challenged if the claims are vague or too broad. The specification has to be drafted by skilled professionals.