How Much Detail is Needed in a Provisional Patent Application

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Question: Some parts of my invention are not patentable (e.g. User Registration) but are critical to its functionality. Do I only provide detail on the patentable parts? I am getting hung up on the thought that you must include all detail necessary to build and use your invention.

If I have to provide detail on User Registration, for example, would issued patents be the best place to get that language?

Answer: Your provisional application needs to provide enough information to enable someone else to make and use your invention. The information is not limited to the “patentable parts”, but the information should certainly be focused on the patentable parts.

If there are published documents that describe the critical, but non-patentable parts, like the user registration, you may consider incorporating those published documents by reference to provide a lot of the detailed information, but still give in the application at least the more important information about the critical parts.

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