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Standard ST.12/A

Version 1.0

Standard adopted during the 1980’s




In order that abstracts prepared by, or on behalf of, applicants for patents may reach the maximum level of quality and uniformity it is recommended that the general guidelines for their preparation which are presented below be followed.


As is indicated by their title, these general guidelines relate only to those matters which apply irrespective of the authority to which an abstract is to be submitted.


Abstractors are advised that, in addition to following these general guidelines, they should give due consideration to the specific requirements in respect of abstracts which are contained in the regulations appropriate to the authority to which the abstract is to be submitted.


Particular attention is drawn to the fact that for abstracts submitted to some authorities the regulations require that where the application contains drawings the abstract shall include a figure of the drawings or shall on publication be accompanied by one or more figures of the drawings. In such cases the abstract should be drafted with this requirement in mind.

The general guidelines



AN ABSTRACT OF A PATENT DOCUMENT IS A CONCISE STATEMENT OF ITS TECHNICAL DISCLOSURE. The abstract should enable the reader thereof, regardless of his degree of familiarity with patent documents, to ascertain quickly the character of the subject matter covered by the technical disclosure. The abstract should constitute an efficient scanning tool for searching in the particular technical field, particularly by making it possible to assess whether there is a need to consult the patent document itself. The abstract merely serves the purpose of technical information and cannot be taken into account for any other purpose, particularly not for the purpose of interpreting the scope of the protection sought.



THE ABSTRACT SHOULD BE CLEAR AND AS CONCISE AS THE DISCLOSURE PERMITS. It should generally not exceed 250 words and should preferably be in the range of 50 to 150 words. The abstract may contain chemical or mathematical formulae and tables. Phrases should not be used which can be implied, such as “This disclosure concerns”, “The invention defined by this disclosure” and “This invention relates to”. The legal phraseology used in patent claims often employing such words as “said” and “means” should also be avoided.



THE ABSTRACT SHOULD BE PRIMARILY DIRECTED TO THAT WHICH IS NEW IN THE ART TO WHICH THE INVENTION PERTAINS. If the invention is in the nature of a modification to an apparatus, process, product or composition, the abstract should be directed to the technical disclosure of the modification. If the invention is of a basic nature the entire technical disclosure may be new in the art and the abstract should be directed to the entire disclosure. If a patent document relating to a product, particularly a compound or composition, also contains significant disclosure of its method of preparation or use, this matter should also be abstracted. If the disclosure involves alternatives, the abstract should deal with the preferred alternative and identify the others if this can be done succinctly; if this cannot be done, it should mention that they exist and whether they differ substantially from the preferred alternative.


Where applicable, and provided the document contains the information, the abstract should include at least the following: (1) if a machine, apparatus, or system, its organization and operation; (2) if an article, its method of making; (3) if a chemical compound, its identify and preparation; (4) if a mixture, its ingredients; (5) if a process, the steps. Extensive mechanical and design details of apparatus should not be given.


With regard particularly to chemicals for compounds or compositions, the general nature of the compound or composition should be given as well as the use thereof, e.g., “the compounds are of the class of alkyl benzene sulfonyl ureas, useful as oral anti‑diabetics.” Exemplification of a class should be by a typical example. For processes, the type of reaction, reagents and process conditions should be stated, generally illustrated by a single example. Wherever applicable, the chemical formula should be given which, among all the formulae contained in the patent document, best characterizes the invention.


The abstract should not contain statements on the alleged merits or value of the claimed invention or on its speculative application.



It is recommended that the abstractor uses the checklist appended hereto to assist him in following these general guidelines.

Sample abstracts

(a) A heart valve with an annular valve body defining an orifice and having a plurality of struts forming a pair of cages on opposite sides of the orifice. A spherical closure member is captively held within the cages and is moved by blood flow between the open and closed positions in check valve fashion. A slight leak or backflow is provided in the closed position by making the orifice slightly larger than the closure member. Blood flow is maximized in the open position of the valve by providing an inwardly convex contour on the orifice‑defining surfaces of the body. An annular rib is formed in a channel around the periphery of the valve body to anchor a suture ring used to secure the valve within a heart.

(b) A method for sealing, by application of heat, overlapping closure panels of a folding box made from paperboard having an extremely thin coating of moisture proofing thermoplastic material on opposite surfaces. Heated air is directed at the surface to be bonded, the temperature of the air at the point of impact on the surfaces being above the char point of the board. The duration of application of heat is made so brief, by a corresponding high rate of advance of the boxes through the air stream, that the coating on the reverse side of the panels remains substantially non‑tacky. The bond forms at any one surface point immediately after heating for a period of time less than the total time of exposure to heated air of that point. Under such conditions the heat applied to soften the thermoplastic coating is dissipated after completion of the bond by absorption into the board acting as a heat sink without the need for cooling devices.

(c) Amides are produced by reacting an ester of a carboxylic acid with an amine, using as catalyst an alkoxide of an alkali metal. The ester is first heated to at least 70°C under a pressure of no more than 500 mm of mercury to remove moisture and acid gases which would prevent the reaction, and then converted to an amide without heating.

Checklist to accompany “general guidelines for the preparation of abstracts”

In the following checklist, the abstractor should, after having studied the disclosure to be abstracted, place a check in the second column after the applicable terms listed in the first column. The requirements listed in the third column corresponding to the checked items of the first column should be borne in mind by the abstractor as he prepares his abstract. Finally, the abstractor may compare his finished abstract with the checked requirements and place a corresponding checkmark in the fourth column if he is satisfied that the requirements have been met.


If the invention is a(n) Check here The abstract should deal with: If so, check here
Article its identity, use; construction, organization, method of manufacture
Chemical compound its identity (structure if appropriate); method of preparation, properties, uses
Mixture its nature, properties, use; essential ingredients (identify, function); proportion of ingredients, if significant; preparation
Machine, apparatus, system its nature, use; construction, organization; operation
Process or operation its nature and characterizing features; material and conditions employed; product, if significant; nature of and relationship between the steps, if more than one
If the disclosure involves alternatives the abstract should deal with the preferred alternative and identify the others if this can be done succinctly; if this cannot be done, it should mention that they exist and whether they differ substantially from the preferred alternative

Total Number of words:

  • less than 250: _______
  • in range 50 – 150: __________

[End of Standard]