35 USC 112 requires that the applicant shall particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter which he or she regards as his or her invention.The portion of the application in which he or she does this forms the claim or claims.For example, the Patent Office treats admissions by the applicant as prior art. Sometimes it is because they lack the financial backing necessary.This is true whether your application will be examined under pre-AIA law (i.e., first to invent) or AIA (first to file). Regardless of the reason, waiting to file a patent application is not universally bad advice, but it certainly comes with a lot of risk given that the United States is a first to file country with only an infinitesimally small grace period remaining.International Preliminary Examination (optional): one of the ISAs at your request, carries out an additional patentability analysis, usually on an amended version of your application.National Phase: after the end of the PCT procedure, usually at 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain them. In order to protect your invention in multiple countries you have a few options: (a) Direct or Paris route: you can directly file separate patent applications at the same time in all of the countries in which you would like to protect your invention (for some countries, regional patents may be available) or, having filed in a Paris Convention country (one of the Member States of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property), then file separate patent applications in other Paris Convention countries within 12 months from the filing date of that first patent application, giving you the benefit in all those countries of claiming the filing date of the first application (see Question 11); (b) PCT route: you can file an application under the PCT, directly or within the 12-month period provided for by the Paris Convention from the filing date of a first application, which is valid in all Contracting States of the PCT and, therefore, simpler, easier and more cost-effective than both, direct or Paris route filings.The chart below shows the number of utility patents issued each fiscal year going back to 1980. If issuances remain steady, then we’ll see a substantial increase in the number of patents issued over FY2016.
Notice that 35 USC 112 only states that a claim is necessary, but does not provide any information on the structure or format of the claim or claims.
The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications.
The granting of patents remains under the control of the national or regional patent Offices in what is called the “national phase”.
Sadly, based on my experience, many inventors do not really understand these aspects of patent law.
I find myself needing to repeat them over and over again, which is why they find themselves here on this particular list. One big problem independent inventors face when they choose to represent themselves is with respect to the very real problem of admissions.