There are two types of patent applications.
The only version that grants the inventor full rights is called a non-provisional application. This submission begins the examination process that may lead to a patent being granted.
A provisional application only is used to establish a filing date without an examination.
A patent application is really a collection of documents that conform to US laws, rules, and guidelines.
Contents of an Application (utility)
Utility Patent Application Transmittal Form
List of the application elements, such as the number of sheets for a particular requirement.
Fee Transmittal Form
Used to list which fees were submitted and method of payment, such as the basic fees for filing, search, and examination due at time of application.
Application Data Sheet
Information about the inventor's name, address.
Small and Micro Entity Status
Additional forms may be necessary depending on whether you qualify for a small or micro entity.
This is the most important, which is a collection of documents that describe the invention and how it works through full, clear, concise, and exact language.
Criteria used to determine whether the description does explain how the invention works is to analyze the application through the eyes of an individual who has average knowledge and skill in the particular field of technology or subject matter that corresponds to the invention. For example, a computer patent is reviewed through the perspective of somebody who understands how computers work. A vehicle engine or auto body part will be examined from the perspective of somebody who understands how cars work.
The specification contains:
All patents require technical drawings to understand the invention. These drawings depict every feature of the invention.
Inventor's Oath or Declaration
A statement by the inventor that he/she is the original or joint inventor of what is being patented.