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General Rules for Patent Drawings

Creating a drawing for patent is much different from the one we did in our school days. Unlike the drawing in school, here, we have certain rules for patent drawings and we need to follow these rules religiously, failing which can cost a rejection in the patent application. No matter whether the drawing is a utility patent drawing or a design patent drawing we need to follow these golden rules put forth by important patent office like USPTO.

This is an article that will highlight some of these golden rules which a draft-person should follow while creating a patent illustration for an invention.

General Rules for Patent Drawing

Showing features clearly:  No matter whether you are showing a device, process or a design putting each and every feature of the invention in paper and that too accurately is important. Each feature of the drawing should be properly documented with both text and illustration to assure that the patent examiner fully understands the feature of the item without putting stress on their eyebrows. Failure to include all the details may lead to rejection of the patent.

For example, if you have a drawing of a mobile phone that has many features we need to show each and every feature of the mobile phone so as to have a clear understanding of the invention.

Neatness: Even if, you present each and every feature of your invention accurately but the drawing has strikethroughs, over writings and alterations you risk rejection. Though it is not documented anywhere that your patent illustration should be neat and clean still patent office like USPTO want you to present a neat and error-free drawing that is readable.

Legibility: Legibility is the ability to distinguish various letters and is another criterion a professional draft person needs to follow where each and every text, word and image should not overlap its adjacent element. Failing to achieve optimum legibility could lead to rejection of your application.

Readability: Readability is another criterion that is not documented anywhere but we need to follow it during this whole process. Spacing within words, between words and between lines must be such that the resulting text is again visually readable.

Visually Appealing: Not only you need to have a legible drawing but it should also be visually appealing where your drawing sheet should be devoid of folds, crakes, holes and creases.

Use Metric System: Any dimension and sizing information presented in a patent disclosure must be given in metric inches preferably centimetres in case of small devices millimetres can be used. Though USPTO doesn’t forbid using English Engineering Units still they prefer metric system and thus we need to follow this rule as well.

Sheet Size: Sheet size is another important criterion that we need to follow while making a patent drawing. Patent office like USPTO is very specific on sheet size and allows only two kinds of sheet size a) 21 cm x 29.7 cm which is also called as A4 size and b) 21.6 cm x 27.9 cm which is used throughout the United States.


Putting it all together, we can say that creating an illustration for an invention is a science as well as an art that requires adequate knowledge of regulatory norms as well as an artistic approach and thus you can do justice with your invention only if you are an experienced draft-person. It is extremely important for an inventor to present a patent application in a fully clear and understandable way to the patent examiner. This should leave the examiner with no doubt and the reason to reject the application.

PatSketch for Patent Services

PatSketch provides various patent-related services. With the help of our professionals, we provide the best patent services that will help you draft a perfect patent application and get a patent that will provide maximum protection. Our services are best designed to serve the customers in the best possible way and our professionals are well equipped to meet any of the needs of customers.

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