The first step of the process of preparing a patent application involves the inventor providing information to patent counsel or completing an invention disclosure form. This step may have been completed as part of the patent search. The invention disclosure will include a description and drawings (or photographs) of the invention that detail how the invention works. Other useful information includes how the invention improves over existing technology or how the invention solves a problem with existing technology.

The patent lawyer will then take this information to prepare a patent application that includes a description of the invention, claims that define the legal scope of protection, and drawings. The claims are the most critical part of the patent application and are written in a precise technical language in order to provide the broadest possible protection. The description and drawings are drafted to give effect to language of the claims.

Once the patent application is complete and approved by the inventors it can be filed in the patent office. Formal papers must be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the patent office to accompany the patent application upon filing. These can include, for example, an oath or declaration of inventorship, powers of attorney, and assignment documents.