MPEP Q & A 93: What is Essential Material

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Question:

What is essential material?

Answer:

“Essential material” is defined as that which is necessary to:

  • provide a written description of the claimed 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 set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor;
  • describe the claimed invention in terms that particularly point out and distinctly claim the invention; or
  • describe the structure, material, or acts that correspond to a claimed means or step for performing a specified function. In any application that is to issue as a U.S. patent, essential material may only be incorporated by reference to a U.S. patent or patent application publication.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 600 of the MPEP. This chapter covers the parts, form, and content of applications.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 07.2015. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 608.01(p) of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 608.01(p).

608.01(p) Completeness of Specification

The completeness of the specification is covered here. This includes details on incorporating by reference where an application may incorporate essential material by reference to a U.S. patent, or a U.S. patent application publication, which patent or patent application publication does not itself incorporate such essential material by reference. Examples are included.

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