Analysing your invention

You must present your invention explicitly and in a comprehensive way in your patent application. A skilled person must be able to understand the solution. It must also be clear what precisely you are claiming protection for.  

When drafting your application, it helps to analyse your invention in a first step. When doing so, recognise what is innovative about it in comparison to the state of the art (also known as the prior art).

In your analysis, consider the following points:


Technical field

Which specialist field does your invention belong to? What is already known, what solutions come closest to your invention?


Purpose of your invention

What problem does your invention solve? An invention often eliminates the disadvantages of a known process or product. Others meet new needs or are a beneficial alternative.


Features analysis and solution

Which technical features of your invention solve its purpose and how? You must describe all the features necessary for carrying out the invention in the patent application so that skilled persons can understand the invention without any creative assistance.

There is a distinction made between the following features:

  1. Features that your invention has in common with already known solutions.
  2. Innovative features with which your invention differs itself from already known inventions. These are what characterise your invention.
  3. Features that have an additional benefit but are not essential to the invention.

Technical character (“technicity”)

Do the inventive features fulfil a technical function? It may only be worthwhile filing a patent application if this is the case.


An example


Technical field
The invention is attributed to the field of electric bicycles. It assists cyclists by being electrically driven. A battery provides electrical energy for this purpose. As electric energy is finite, the battery must be charged or replaced over time.
Purpose of the invention
The range of known electric bikes is limited because the battery needs to be charged over and again. The aim of the invention is to increase the bike's range using a battery charger without reducing the performance of the electric drive.
When braking, conventional electric bicycles lose kinetic energy. The inventive solution is to use this energy to recharge the batteries, which in turn extends the range of the bike.
The electrical drive can be attached particularly compactly to the bike if its rotor also forms the wheel axle.
The distance range is shown on a display on the handle bars.



Features analysis

  1. Features of the invention already known from the prior art:
    1. Bicycle
    2. Electrical drive attached to an axle of a wheel of the bicycle
    3. Battery on the bicycle frame
  2. Features defining the invention:
    1. The electrical drive is configured to recover energy
  3. Additional features:
    1. The rotor of the electric drive is identical to the axle of the wheel
    2. A display unit gives information on the charge level of the battery
    3. The display unit is mounted on the handlebars

Technical character

The recuperator is integrated into a regenerative braking system in the electrical drive. When the bike breaks, kinetic energy is converted into electricity. The generated current is then fed back into the battery. This is the technical process; the regenerative break is a technical device.