37 CFR 1.77 Arrangement of application elements.
- (a) The elements of the application, if applicable, should appear in the following order:
- (1) Utility application transmittal form.
- (2) Fee transmittal form.
- (3) Application data sheet (see § 1.76).
- (4) Specification.
- (5) Drawings.
- (6) The inventor’s oath or declaration.
- (b) The specification should include the following sections in order:
- (1) Title of the invention, which may be accompanied by an introductory portion stating the name, citizenship, and residence of the applicant (unless included in the application data sheet).
- (2) Cross-reference to related applications.
- (3) Statement regarding federally sponsored research or development.
- (4) The names of the parties to a joint research agreement.
- (5) Reference to a “Sequence Listing,” a table, or a computer program listing appendix submitted on a compact disc and an incorporation-by-reference of the material on the compact disc (see § 1.52(e)(5)). The total number of compact discs including duplicates and the files on each compact disc shall be specified.
- (6) Statement regarding prior disclosures by the inventor or a joint inventor.
- (7) Background of the invention.
- (8) Brief summary of the invention.
- (9) Brief description of the several views of the drawing.
- (10) Detailed description of the invention.
- (11) A claim or claims.
- (12) Abstract of the disclosure.
- (13) “Sequence Listing,” if on paper (see §§ 1.821 through 1.825).
- (c) The text of the specification sections defined in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(12) of this section, if applicable, should be preceded by a section heading in uppercase and without underlining or bold type.
For design patent specification, see MPEP § 1503.01.
For plant patent specification, see MPEP § 1605.
For reissue patent specification, see MPEP § 1411.
The order of arrangement of specification elements as set forth in 37 CFR 1.77(b) is preferable (e.g., not required) in framing the nonprovisional specification and each of the items should appear in upper case, without underlining or bold type, as section headings. If no text follows the section heading, the phrase “Not Applicable” should follow the section heading. It is recommended that provisional applications follow the same general format, although claims are not required. If an application data sheet (37 CFR 1.76) is used, data supplied in the application data sheet need not be provided elsewhere in the application except that for applications filed before September 16, 2012, the citizenship of each inventor must be provided in the oath or declaration under 37 CFR 1.63 even if this information is provided in the application data sheet.
For applications filed on or after September 16, 2012, if there is a discrepancy between the information submitted in an application data sheet and the information submitted elsewhere in the application, the application data sheet will control except for the naming of inventors. The naming of the inventorship is governed by 37 CFR 1.41, and changes to inventorship or the names of inventors is governed by 37 CFR 1.48. In addition, for applications filed on or after September 16, 2012, the most recent application data sheet in compliance with 37 CFR 1.76 will govern with respect to foreign priority claims or domestic benefit claims. See 37 CFR 1.76(d) and MPEP § 601.05(a).
For applications filed before September 16, 2012, if there is a discrepancy between the information submitted in an application data sheet and the information submitted elsewhere in the application, the application data sheet will control except for the naming of the inventors and the citizenship of the inventors. See pre-AIA 37 CFR 1.76(d) and MPEP § 601.05(b).
¶ 6.01 Arrangement of the Sections of the Specification in a Utility Application
The following guidelines illustrate the preferred layout for the specification of a utility application. These guidelines are suggested for the applicant’s use.
Arrangement of the Specification
As provided in 37 CFR 1.77(b), the specification of a utility application should include the following sections in order. Each of the lettered items should appear in upper case, without underlining or bold type, as a section heading. If no text follows the section heading, the phrase “Not Applicable” should follow the section heading:
(a) TITLE OF THE INVENTION.
(b) CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS.
(c) STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT.
(d) THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT.
(e) INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC OR AS A TEXT FILE VIA THE OFFICE ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM (EFS-WEB).
(f) STATEMENT REGARDING PRIOR DISCLOSURES BY THE INVENTOR OR A JOINT INVENTOR.
(g) BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION.
(1) Field of the Invention.
(h) BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION.
(i) BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S).
(j) DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION.
(k) CLAIM OR CLAIMS (commencing on a separate sheet).
(l) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE (commencing on a separate sheet).
(m) SEQUENCE LISTING. (See MPEP § 2422.03 and 37 CFR 1.821–1.825). A “Sequence Listing” is required on paper if the application discloses a nucleotide or amino acid sequence as defined in 37 CFR 1.821(a) and if the required “Sequence Listing” is not submitted as an electronic document either on compact disc or as a text file via the Office electronic filing system (EFS-Web.)
For the arrangement of the sections of the specification in a design application, see 37 CFR 1.154(b). Form paragraph 15.05 may be used for a design application. For the arrangement of the sections of the specification in a plant application, see 37 CFR 1.163(c). For the requirements of the specification in a reissue application, see 37 CFR 1.173(a)(1).
¶ 6.02 Content of Specification
Content of Specification
(a) TITLE OF THE INVENTION: See 37 CFR 1.72(a) and MPEP § 606. The title of the invention should be placed at the top of the first page of the specification unless the title is provided in an application data sheet. The title of the invention should be brief but technically accurate and descriptive, preferably from two to seven words. It may not contain more than 500 characters.
(c) STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT: See MPEP § 310.
(d) THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT. See 37 CFR 1.71(g).
(e) INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC OR AS A TEXT FILE VIA THE OFFICE ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM (EFS-WEB): The specification is required to include an incorporation-by-reference of electronic documents that are to become part of the permanent United States Patent and Trademark Office records in the file of a patent application. See 37 CFR 1.52(e) and MPEP § 608.05. See also the Legal Framework for EFS-Web posted on the USPTO website (www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/filing-online/ legal-framework-efs-web) and MPEP § 502.05
(g) BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION: See MPEP § 608.01(c). The specification should set forth the Background of the Invention in two parts:
(1) Field of the Invention: A statement of the field of art to which the invention pertains. This statement may include a paraphrasing of the applicable U.S. patent classification definitions of the subject matter of the claimed invention. This item may also be titled “Technical Field.”
(2) Description of the Related Art including information disclosed under 37 CFR 1.97 and 37 CFR 1.98: A description of the related art known to the applicant and including, if applicable, references to specific related art and problems involved in the prior art which are solved by the applicant’s invention. This item may also be titled “Background Art.”
(h) BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION: See MPEP § 608.01(d). A brief summary or general statement of the invention as set forth in 37 CFR 1.73. The summary is separate and distinct from the abstract and is directed toward the invention rather than the disclosure as a whole. The summary may point out the advantages of the invention or how it solves problems previously existent in the prior art (and preferably indicated in the Background of the Invention). In chemical cases it should point out in general terms the utility of the invention. If possible, the nature and gist of the invention or the inventive concept should be set forth. Objects of the invention should be treated briefly and only to the extent that they contribute to an understanding of the invention.
(j) DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION: See MPEP § 608.01(g). A description of the preferred embodiment(s) of the invention as required in 37 CFR 1.71. The description should be as short and specific as is necessary to describe the invention adequately and accurately. Where elements or groups of elements, compounds, and processes, which are conventional and generally widely known in the field of the invention described, and their exact nature or type is not necessary for an understanding and use of the invention by a person skilled in the art, they should not be described in detail. However, where particularly complicated subject matter is involved or where the elements, compounds, or processes may not be commonly or widely known in the field, the specification should refer to another patent or readily available publication which adequately describes the subject matter.
(k) CLAIM OR CLAIMS: See 37 CFR 1.75 and MPEP § 608.01(m). The claim or claims must commence on a separate sheet or electronic page (37 CFR 1.52(b)(3)). Where a claim sets forth a plurality of elements or steps, each element or step of the claim should be separated by a line indentation. There may be plural indentations to further segregate subcombinations or related steps. See 37 CFR 1.75 and MPEP 608.01(i)–(p).
(l) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE: See 37 CFR 1.72(b) and MPEP § 608.01(b). The abstract is a brief narrative of the disclosure as a whole, as concise as the disclosure permits, in a single paragraph preferably not exceeding 150 words, commencing on a separate sheet following the claims. In an international application which has entered the national stage (37 CFR 1.491(b)), the applicant need not submit an abstract commencing on a separate sheet if an abstract was published with the international application under PCT Article 21. The abstract that appears on the cover page of the pamphlet published by the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the abstract that will be used by the USPTO. See MPEP § 1893.03(e).
(m) SEQUENCE LISTING: See 37 CFR 1.821–1.825 and MPEP §§ 2421–2431. The requirement for a sequence listing applies to all sequences disclosed in a given application, whether the sequences are claimed or not. See MPEP § 2422.01.
In this paragraph an introductory sentence will be necessary. This paragraph is intended primarily for use in pro se applications.