What are the parts of a Patent Application?

Patent Applications are long detailed documents. What are the different parts of patent applications?

Learn what a background section, a specification section, claims section, and figures are used for patent applications.

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Devin Miller (IP Attorney)

Electrical Engineer


Small business owner

Figures, Background, Specification, Claims

Each part of a patent applications serves a different purpose. When the parts are combined, all the parts make up a patent application that protect your invention.


The figures of a patent application illustrate the details of your invention. They show all the details of your invention so that another person can understand what your invention is. The figures include reference numbers to identify the parts of your invention that are discussed in detail in the specification.

Figures section of a patent application.
Summary of a patent application.


The background of a patent application describes the problem you are trying to solve or the technology you are trying to improve. It sets the stage to help an Examiner understand why your invention is unique and different than what is already out there.


The specification describes in detail all the parts of your invention. It teaches an Examiner how your invention is built or how it works. The specification also includes several different variations or embodiments of your invention so that competitors cannot simply design around your invention.

Specification of a patent application.
Claims section of a patent attorney.


The claims are the heart of a patent. The claims define the limits of exactly what a patent does and does not cover. It is a list of the features of your invention that are necessary to build or use your invention.

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