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Is it possible to provide too much information in describing a novel device? By too much I mean providing detail that unnecessarily makes it easy to reproduce the device. I am seeking to understand if there is any disadvantage to disclosing beyond the minimum necessary to meet the patent examiner's approval criteria. Any example (and link) is highly appreciated: thank you. Any editing that narrows the question is also appreciated.

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You are not required to give manufacturing specifications and the best embodiment you have in mind the day you file does not have to be the final, production ready version that works in an optimum manner. You do not need to go back and add that informant later (you can't add anything later).

However, it is definitely possible to provide too little information in a specification. A patent application needs to have enough information to allow someone skilled in the pertinent art to made and use the claimed invention. A judicial add-on to that is the "without undo experimentation". https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2164.html You do not want your patent successfully attacked in the future for lack of enablement. The patent examiner will probably not put any focus on enablement unless it is egregiously poor or you are trying to patent something very unlikely, on its face, to work. Weakness in enablement, if push comes to shove, will be by an issue at a court in the future. It will need to first decide what education and background the theoretical person of ordinary skill in the art has and then whether that person has enough information for enablement. It is not cut-and-dried and getting the patent does not end the question. Further, there is still a "best mode" requirement that says you can't hide the ball by not providing the best way you know how to make and use it at the time of filing. You do not need to label it as the best mode among any other embodiments you provide. You might come up with a better embodiment the day after you file. In the past patents were torn up by courts for lack of best mode. After the AIA law that is no longer an issue but your patent practitioner can't ethically, knowingly, file something missing a best mode.

  • Great point about "undo experimentation"! – DukeZhou Oct 25 '17 at 18:02

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