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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

15 - Patents for inventions: exploitation, infringement and revocation

Summary

The role of the patent specification

A patent specification is a public instrument which contains the patentee's unilateral statement to the public of what are claimed as the essential features (integers) of the invention. The grant of the monopoly rights in a patent are balanced by the disclosure of the invention to the public.

As a patent specification is directed to a person skilled in the art to which the specification relates, it can contain less detail than would be necessary if it were directed to a person not skilled in the relevant way. The patent specification itself is made up of several parts which have different functions. The body, apart from the preamble, is there to instruct those skilled in the art concerned in the carrying out of the invention. The claims identify the legal limits of the monopoly granted by the patent and must define the invention in a way that is not reasonably capable of being misunderstood. Inadvertent or deliberate omissions from the claim have no protection. In other words, what is not claimed is disclaimed.

Monotti, A. 2006
Monotti, A. 2009 422