Patents Explained: The Summary

Next up in the Patents Explained series: the summary section of the patent.  The summary is similar to the background of the invention, and, in that same vein, some consider it extraneous and potentially damaging to the patent as a whole.

The summary should describe the nature and subject matter of the invention.  The summary should be comparable in scope to the disclosure and the claims of the patent – both when initially filed and before issuance.

Some patent drafters include the objects or purpose of the invention in the summary.  Others feel that doing so could limit the patent, if it is ever the subject of litigation, to covering only what was disclosed as an object.  They believe that avoiding disclosure of any objects will prevent the patent from be artificially limited to those narrow explanations.