Best practices for utility patent illustrations


Utility patent illustrations also known as utility patent drawings are one of the most important elements of a patent application and are used by applicants to describe their invention in a better way. Though, including patent drawings are not mandatory still each patent application should be accompanied by drawings as they can help applicants in the long-run.

Each and every patent office has its own set of rules that are needed by applicants to be adhered to and this article may help you understand some rules that are common across multiple patent offices.

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Related Article: Formatting Details of Utility Patent Drawings

Best Practices for Utility Patent Illustrations

Show every feature of the invention specified in the claims: When you are about to include a drawing in your application, it’s important to show every feature of the invention specified in the claims. Failing which can compromise your purpose at a later stage. Names or other identification marks are not allowed within the sight of the drawing.

Keep in mind the terms of the trade: As we mentioned earlier, each and every patent office has its own set of rules and applicants are required to adhere to those rules. Patent illustration submitted to the office must be made on paper which is flexible, strong, white, smooth, non-shiny, and durable. Apart from this, keeping the shape, size, and color of the sheets as per the specified rule is also important. To know detail of these rules see this article Tips on Creating Patent Drawings for Inventions

Photographs are not permitted: Another important rule relating to utility patent drawing is that photographs and photocopies of photographs are not permitted and hence patent illustration service provider or applicants should refrain themselves from using such photographs and photo copies. A patent office like USPTO will accept photographs in utility and design patent applications, if photographs are the only practicable medium for illustrating the claimed invention.

Specify indicia in specified space: Identifying indicia or identification of the drawing should include the title of the invention, inventor’s name, and application number, or docket number (if any) and that too should be placed on the front of each sheet centered within the top margin.

Include as many views as possible: When we talk about some of the best practices for utility patent drawing then different views of the drawings are important. An applicant should try to include as many different views of the invention as possible as it makes the application easy to understand.

Some of the views which are widely used in utility patent drawing or utility patent illustration are

  • Orthogonal and perspective views
  • Isometric views
  • Sectional views
  • Duplicate views
  • Exploded views
  • Plain and un-ornamented view
  • Flat object view

Arrange views accordingly: Another important thing that should be taken into care while creating various views of a patent application is the arrangement of views. Most of the patent offices like USPTO want all views to be put on the same sheet and all of them stand in the same direction so that they can be read with the sheet held in an upright position.

Utility patent drawing or patent illustration for utility patents can help inventors a lot in long-run, as it helps the examiners understand the invention in a better way but can also help inventors during prosecution. Any doubt raised during prosecution can be eliminated if detailed patent drawings are in place.

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