Inventors who are new to patents may find the patenting process a daunting prospect. There can be a lot of information to digest, ranging from filing strategy to patentability requirements. Over time, and hopefully with the help of a good attorney, the whole process should become clearer and simpler for inventors.

One challenge that may be faced by inventors at an early stage relates to invention capture.

Invention capture refers to the process of recording the details of an invention in the right way to enable a patent attorney to prepare a patent application.

A few tips on invention capture are as follows:

  • A document describing the technology should be prepared, in which you should indicate what you consider to be the invention.
  • The above document should focus on “technical” detail rather than “marketing” detail. There can be some overlap between these concepts; for example, improved efficiency of a device may result in reduced energy costs for a consumer, but the focus should be on how the invention leads to improved efficiency, rather than general comments about cost savings.
  • The document should discuss what systems are already out there, what improvements your system provides and how it provide these improvements.
  • Drawings should be included where possible – these can help to explain how your technology works and are likely to make it into the patent application.
  • If you are struggling to prepare the documentation it can be helpful to get assistance from a patent attorney. It may also be helpful to have an invention harvesting exercise where a patent attorney can meet with you to have a discussion, which hopefully leads to the extraction of some inventions to consider for patent protection.

In the early days of a company, preparing documentation relating to inventions may be carried out on an ad hoc basis if, and when, innovative ideas to be considered for patent protection arise. As a company develops it may be useful to implement more sophisticated invention capture procedures. These may include:

  • Providing invention disclosure template to employees to enable them to document their inventions.
  • Implementing internal review procedures for reviewing completed invention disclosure templates.
  • Implementing employee education programs to build an organizational culture that promotes patent filings and IP in general.
  • Providing incentives to employees to encourage them to record their innovations for patent protection.



At Scintilla, we help innovative companies get a grip on their intellectual property. Our unique commercial approach combines registration of patents and trade marks with strategic input so that IP can be a springboard for business growth. If you would like to discuss your IP needs, do contact us or book a free initial consultation!