Summary of the Invention
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Invention Analysis and Claiming: The Summary of the Invention 1

By Ronald Slusky

Ronald Slusky mentored dozens of attorneys in “old school” invention analysis and claiming principles over a 31-year career at Bell Laboratories. He is now in private practice in New York City. This article is adapted from his book “Invention Analysis and Claiming: A Patent Lawyer’s Guide” published by the American Bar Association and available at Ron can be reached at 212-246-4546 and

There are two main schools of thought about the patent specification’s Summary of the Invention.

Many attorneys believe in the “claim-restatement” type of Summary. This is a substantially verbatim reprise of the broadest, and perhaps other, claims, with only minor changes, such as changing “said” to “the.” Others use the “story- telling” type of Summary, which presents the invention in narrative form, thereby continuing the problem-solution story that was begun in the Background.

The author is in the latter school, as this column explains.

The Effective Specification

Let’s first talk about the specification as a whole.

An effective patent specification speaks to an audience extending far beyond the person skilled in the art.  Indeed, ...

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