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What Is the Enablement Requirement?

Code section 35 U.S.C. 112, known as the Enablement Requirement, reads:

The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor or joint inventor of carrying out the invention.

As this rule pertains to Provisional Patents, the description of the invention must only meet two requirements:

1. The inventor must describe how to build and use the invention in enough detail such that ‘one of ordinary skill in the field of the invention’ would be able to recreate and use the invention based on the description, and
2. The inventor must disclose the best way he knows how to build and use the invention.

If you are interested in more detail related to your situation it is best to speak with an attorney.

Yuri Eliezer heads the intellectual property practice group at Founders Legal. As an entrepreneur who saw the importance of early-stage patent protection, Yuri founded SmartUp®. Clients he has served include Microsoft, Cisco, Cox, AT&T, General Electric, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Coca-Cola.

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