“A picture says it all.”
Well, Yes! in case of patent drawings, this ancient proverb is undoubtedly true. The best and the most appropriate way to cut short the time of understanding anything is to represent it through images. In this case, we mean accurate and clearly labeled drawings within the patent application. USPTO doesn’t lay out any compulsion for including images. However, whenever they are necessary, they must be there to strengthen and enhance the patent applications. Let’s learn How and Why better drawings assure better patent application.
There are many reasons that stand in favor of including patent drawings, such as:
- Bring clarity and precision to the examiner to understand the concept behind the invention in less time.
- Clarifies owner’s claims (if any) if in any case get mistakenly caught for patent infringement.
- Benefit patent holders while damaging negotiation or settlement.
- Brings more sense and unambiguity to the application, making it less secured from potential infringers.
- Depicts the technical specifications and presents a blueprint of the invention on papers, helping the owner and the examiner to visualize the outcomes, in a much better way.
- Helps the patent owner to take professional help from a patent draftsperson, who can even pinpoint any issues with the invention (if any), the owner can rectify that before application submission.
Do you know: How to invest less in Patent Drawings?
Technical Specifications for Better Drawings
Better drawings can only be drawn if the draftsperson understands the specifications according to the preferences of the inventor. Ideally, the draftsperson has to meet the following technical specifications:
- Submission medium: Submission of drawings need to be from paper to digital media, according to its shape and size specifications. There are many specifications, such as the size, thickness, flexibility of sheets, etc. that all have to be followed.
- Drawing specifications: It meet to be in accordance with the territorial, USPTO (for U.S. filers), and the PCT (for international applications) rules. It must also follow specifications relating to the shades, color, letter size, paper size, shadow, the thickness of the line, etc. Drawings also must be clear, specific, unique, and well explanatory.
- Mode of creation: The quality of the drawing depends upon the skill of the illustrator. It is better and reliable to use CADD files, which save efforts of the draftsperson from creating images from scratch. It is easier to use software for creating drawings because you need to feed the specifications and drawings. Creation of them can be using drag and drop; also, modification, duplicity, and reusing can also be there.
- Severity level: Drawings can be formal and informal in nature. Formal drawings are main drawings that depict the actual structure/working of the invention. It uses all its labeling in black and white ink. While informal drawings are the ones which can even be avoided or does not bear equal importance within the patent application. Also, sometimes when formal images are converted into low-quality images, they are termed as informal images, since they lose integrity, quality, and detail. When the patent office requests that the applicant submit formal drawings, often the only existing reference material is a low-quality copy of the informal drawing.
PCT Application Special Case
- Particular case for PCT applications: PCT states explicitly that enclosing of drawings must only be wherever necessary for the understanding of the invention. The requirement of drawings is especially for mechanical and electrical inventions; whereas, for inventions from the chemical industry, there will be no benefit of representing chemicals through drawings.
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Better Drawings depends upon Patent Type
Drawings are not the same for all types of patent applications. They vary from utility to design patent applications.
- Drawing Specifications for Utility Patents: Utility patents have strict requirements, which must be in the accurate measure ensuring that lines, numbers, and letters are adequately dark and uniformly thick to provide satisfactory reproduction characteristics. Use of plain or elevated views, perspective views, isometric projections, sectional views and exploded views can be as well. The more complex and hard the invention to understand, the more will be the requirement to incorporate drawings for better understanding.
- Drawing Specifications for Design Patents: When it comes to design patents, you must use drawings as fundamental. Drawings in design patents constitute the entire visual disclosure of the claim. The filers filing as per the USPTO needs requires all surfaces of drawings to be shading appropriately and adequately. They do not include broken lines. While surface shading and broken lines are acceptable under the PCT. Sometimes when the design is challenging to represent through line art, you can submit photographs instead. In cases where pictures are not allowed, and an applicant is requested to supply black-and-white regulation drawings, the applicant will not be entitled to correct any inconsistencies in the drawings once they have been submitted unless that can be done without adding new matter. Addition or removing of nothing can be when replacing figures.
Better Draftsperson for Better Drawings
Good drawings need a touch of a technically skilled and creative draftsperson. The more experienced and professional a draftsperson is, the better the drawings outcome will be. Things will be much better if the person holds proficiency in computer-aided design and drafting (CADD).
We, at PatSketch, employs several draftspersons, providing a broad skill set with a variety of perspectives and approaches. We hold expertise through years of being an active part o in the IP industry.