Understanding Your Idea Before Applying for Patent

What is a patent?

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem, and may be a product or a process. Patents are a form of intellectual property.


After keeping my idea to myself for many years, I finally shared it with people at a startup event.  Some suggested that I patent the idea as soon as possible.  With that in mind, I rushed to speak with a lawyer who specializes in IP and she said my idea requires a utility patent.  She later sent me a technical disclosure statement to fill out.

To give our readers a better understanding of what they’ll need to know if they hope to get IP protection for their idea, I have placed the form that my lawyer gave me to fill out in this article:

Technical Disclosure Statement (Invention and Utility Model)

Patent Title:

1.             Field of patent:

(What’s the technical problem your patent is intended to solve? What technical field does your technique belong to?)

2.             Detailed description of technical background and introduction of current available technical scheme similar to your patent. (The information should be detailed so that people will understand without further reference to other files; if the current technical scheme comes from a patent, periodicals, or books, records of it should be provided)

3.             Description of defects of the current technical scheme and the specific reason of the defects. the description should be objective, no exaggerating, no debasing)

4.             Purpose of your patent, based on the description of the defects.

5.             Detailed description of your technical scheme. As detailed as possible.  No less than two pages.  Each function of your patent should have corresponding technical scheme to realize it; all enclosed drawings should have detailed description which can be understood without having to see the drawings; a flow chart should be provided for invention patent as well as corresponding system device). You have to state the progress you have made in your patent and the specific scheme to realize the progress.

6.             The key point and invention point of your patent.  (What’s the exact technical scheme you want to be protected?)  Concerning each key point and invention point, what’s the respective realizing scheme of current technique and your patent?)  Compare the key technique of your patent to the current technique and make an objective judgement, the comparison should be based on the specific technical method, not only on function; for chemical or medical application, data of control experiment or chart should be supportive documents)

7.             Compared to current technique, what merit does your patent have? How the merit should be realized by any technical method which is better than the current technical method?

Note: Please mark the name of each component in the FIG.S and introduce how it works:

I was too overwhelmed after reading the technical disclosure statement and spending a week trying to make sure all the details were correct.  I decided to step back from it and wait until I had a much better understanding of what my idea can really become.  Idea pivots constantly take place at early stages of development so I thought it would be a waste of time and money if I went through with a patent at the time.

I am now working with a product design company that has been analyzing my idea in great detail.  At the conclusion of this project, I should have a much better insight as to how to clearly define my idea when filing for a patent.

Shaher Husein joined CSIC/ PassageMaker as a Content Manager/ Account Manager in 2012 to fully immerse himself in China and international trade.  He has a Bachelors in Business, Management and Finance from Brooklyn College.  Shaher speaks English and Arabic and is based in Shenzhen.


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