Patent claim drafting? More like high-stakes-science-poetry-gambling.

Made you look!

 Seriously, though, I swear I’ll come up with more to flush a later version of this article out. What a title, Right? It almost says more than I can just immediately rattle-off…

Nah, I’ll give it a try. It’s a quarter to midnight on Sunday, and what else am I going to do, watch another episode of veep? No. 

Here’s the deal with writing a patent application: it’s a bid on a contract with the federal government. If they take your first offer, great! Except that you might have been able to ask for more. But what is “more,” when we’re just talking about the one thing that you are literally looking at? 


Your ONE thing is not your “invention.” When I say “invention,” I mean what you should want the courtrooms of the United States to wholeheartedly agree is your exclusive territory. Your invention should be the full majestic land grant of “solar-powered selective prey combustion and hunting method,” if you told the world how to incinerate ants with a magnifying glass. 

Maybe, depending upon how hard you thought about it, considerations of your brilliance in reducing to practice little-bitey into little-smokin-ash-pile should be allowed to extend to satellites and systems of low-earn-orbit reflectors. How much room do you think you deserve, in having taught the world how to zap the little buggers on your one anthill? Do you really just want your anthill? Did you really only need to protect yourself against people honing in on killing just the way you are already killing the ants on just your own little anthill?

You are going to want that forest. Now, no, you probably don’t deserve the ability to stymie the American commercial ecosystem that could birth the conception and harbor the development of satellite-controlled instantaneous and humane zapping of explosive population growth of any particular species of animal (or… bacteria? Viruses?! Omg!). However, I think it’s safe to say that prudent drafting and professional procedural handling of your application is going to steer clear of that. But, somewhere between those two scopes (you burning just one ant on your one anthill vs. skynet for surgically flamethrowing deer), there’s probably a good fit for what you’ve given the world.

And keep in mind, you ARE getting a raw deal, there. You ARE giving knowledge. And you are giving that knowledge to the whole WORLD. But your single application is only asking for a monopoly in the UNITED STATES. And you aren’t guaranteed that you will get one. This IS a gamble. There isn’t any way to truly play safe here. Your claimset has to be broader than YOU. It has to be as broad as your INVENTION. And, as the inventOR, you aren’t able to do that. Your job is the valuable embodiment. No scope can exist if we don’t know what we must, at all costs, protect. But once you know what that is, then it’s time to go find your wordsmith.

This is why a patent attorney writes your application. You have got the most important job: carrying out INVENTING. You can go and do that within the realm where you already sit, and the attorney can then go seek out the edges of your legitimate claim to the edges of the territory in which you genuinely believe you are possessing with your presence.

Now… we need your expertise. Your adequate and excess disclosure and conversation enable us to do this: If your “invention” is revealed as though it is the contents of a reconnaissance mission dossier, then we can give the mile high view of:

-the background of the invention

And then… the 300 foot view of:

– the summary of the invention

And then, the low-flyby video

– the detailed description of the invention

But then end with a series of decreasing distance and resolution still shots that are:

– the claims.

You do not know who you messin’ with. Your patent attorney is a straight up poet. Don’t expect it to be flowery language or to have iambic pentameter, but expect that …it is what it…”ok, I guess it is that, too, yeah, I didn’t really think about it that way, but yeah, that is also basically what we are doing, thanks for asking. It’s hard to think of it like that. But yeah. Yeah.”


Alright, twitter, Facebook. I am expecting a heckuva lot more eyes on this post than just 20. Deliver.