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What is the enablement requirement?

One of the requirements for obtaining a patent is that the inventor’s application must contain a written description of the invention which is detailed enough so that others could make and use the invention.┬áThere are essentially three parts to this requirement:

1. The patent application must include claims which clearly lay out the invention so that someone who understands the field of the invention can understand what aspects of the invention the inventor has protected rights to.

2. The application must “enable” someone with skill in the field of the invention to be able to make and use the invention (if the invention relates to living materials, the inventor may deposit samples with a depository, since it may not be possible to describe the invention simply with words).

3. If there are multiple ways of making or using the invention and one way is the inventor’s preferred way, that best way must be disclosed in the patent application (this is called the “best mode requirement”).