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Managing Your Intellectual Property Assets by Scott Shane

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The Parts of a Patent

Patents have two key parts: the specification and the claims. The specification is a description of how the invention works and may include accompanying illustrations. The specification is what you must trade off in return for the monopoly right that you receive. Its purpose is to allow those skilled in the relevant technical area to reproduce your invention.1

The other major part of a patent is the set of claims, or the statements that identify a particular feature or combination of features that are protected by the patent. The claims are what indicate whether another patent infringes your patent—that is, violates your monopoly right. As an inventor, you want to obtain a patent with broad scope claims (as long as you ...

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