In granting patent rights, i.e., the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing, the government requires that the inventors educate the public as to their invention by adequately describing it and enabling it. Enablement is a question of whether the application contains sufficient information so as to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the claimed invention. Lack of enablement can be grounds for both rejecting a patent claim and invalidating an issued patent. Thus, it is important to ensure that your invention is properly enabled.

Some simple things that can assist with enablement include keeping proper lab notebook records, identifying standardized procedures used to make and test the invention, and describing any other procedures and methods used not set forth in standardized procedures. Keeping records of ingredients, sources for ingredients, and lab equipment specifications can also be a great benefit when it is time to prepare your patent application.

While not all of this information may require disclosure, keeping proper records will ensure you have the necessary information to enable your invention when preparing and filing your patent application.