Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Everybody, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show where you, the inventor or entrepreneur, get your daily inspiration so you can make the world a better place.


Today, we’re talking about the background section of the patent that we have been discussing this week, honoring our favorite inventor, Mr. Lonnie Johnson, out of Mobile, Alabama, who invented the Super Soaker. The Super Soaker, of course, is a self-contained water gun pressurized by air. When you pump it up and spray it across the yard, it was revolutionary in the ’90s. If you’re a kid of the ’90s, or perhaps those kids at heart, you’ve likely enjoyed these from years past. Maybe it’s okay.

So, today, we’re talking about the background section of the specification. The specification is a fancy word for the written description, the words of how patent documents are written. This first section is the background, and it’s a required section of a non-provisional patent application. There are two main parts of it. One, where you discuss the field of technology, what’s the broad technology, what’s the area of innovation that this patent exists in, and then there should be a brief discussion about prior art.

So, this first section today, we’ll talk about the field of invention. While it’s so brief, and yes, we can take a look at an image below of this small section for the field, the attorney really has no reason to go much more than about one sentence here. In this case, they’ve done about that. They want to identify as loosely as possible what field of technology they’re in. In this case, the attorney decided to mention the phrase “self-containing apparatus.” What that does is it eliminates the technology where there was, say, a hose attached to an on wireless type device. This is a free-standing, self-contained water gun, and that doesn’t describe anything else on top of that, and certainly gives a lot of broad representation. That’s the goal, introduce the subject and make sure that it’s something that people will understand from a high level.

Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about prior art and what in the world that means and why you’d want to talk about that in the patent document. I’m your host J.D. Houvener of the Bold Today Show. Have a great day, everybody. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at