Written Description Requirement vs. Enablement Requirement

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Written Description Requirement:

Patent specification should contain the written description requirement which ensures essential goal of invention requirement is to clearly convey information that an applicant has invented subject matter which is claimed.

The written description should support original disclosure of claims and amended claims. It should satisfy the examiner to understand how inventor provides support for claimed invention by using specific embodiments, figures etc.

The examiner may reject the one or more claims for lack of written description requirement.

Enablement Requirement:

It is one of legal requirements of patent specification. According to US patent law, Patent specification must comply with enablement requirement so that a person in ‘ordinary skill in the art' of invention can make and use that invention without ‘Undue experimentation'. The patent specification should have this sufficiency of disclosure at the time of application filed.

Written Description Requirement vs. Enablement Requirement:

These two requirements are separate. But let us say, the written description of patent specification should have enablement.

Enablement requirement – The patent description should enable the skilled person in the art to make and use.

Written description requirement - The patent description should adequately convey the claimed invention to the skilled person in the art

The examiner checks the written description requirement of patent specification whether it adequately describes claimed invention. Enablement is the requirement of patent specification to ensure that how to make and use the claimed invention. The patent examiner has rights to reject claims which are not supported by the written description.


1.      http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/2100_2141_03.htm

2.      http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/2100_2163.htm#sect2163
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