Patent drawings art is not just a drawing but it is a representation of the inventor’s invention. It helps in understanding the invention better. Also, in addition to that, high quality patent drawing art is the best way to represent the invention disclosure. You should not think in terms of only one patent drawing, but in terms of whatever number of patent drawings is necessary in order to demonstrate what you have invented.
Most patent applications have several drawing sheets attached with each sheet having multiple views of the invention. This, in turn, makes even the minute intricacies of your invention more evident and clear. Thus, patent drawings form a very important part of the patent process.
In fact, according to U.S.P.T.O, patent applications must include at least one drawing whenever patent drawings art would guide in understanding the invention.
Also Read: How to Correct Patent Drawing Errors Under Rules 11a and 11h
Importance of Patent Drawings Art
Patent Drawings Art is very important for several reasons. Two of the main reasons are:
- Easy Patent Grant
Patent drawings make the examination process faster by giving a clear view of the invention. This happens when patent drawings art clearly defines all the features of the invention. They make the invention easily understandable to the examiner of the application. Usually, there is a gap in the inventor’s description of his invention and the examiner’s comprehension of the same. Good Patent illustrations abridge this gap. Thus, patent drawings art helps in connecting all the dots and consequently make the patent grant process easier.
Also Read: Concept Sketch to Patent Drawing: How to Draw
- No Office Action
Office actions occur due to many reasons. For example, unclear patent claims, unclear illustrations like missing or improper margins etc. It is important to illustrate Patent drawing arts clearly in order to avoid unwanted office actions. Following are some Do’s and Don’ts to avoid office actions.
Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid Office Actions
|Keep the patent drawings art in black & white.||Do not use colour drawings except in few cases.|
|Add proper figures and sheet numbers.||Do not mention dimensions.|
|Use as many views as possible.||Do not show margins in your illustrations.|
|Display all features of your invention.||Do not include descriptive matter like texts in your figures.|
|Use shadings properly and clearly.||Do not add anything new after filing your application.|
Also, do not make your illustration very broad and general in describing your invention. That is because, the more general your description, the more likely it is that there already exists an invention similar to yours.
Also Read: Preparing Patent Drawings: Key Points to Remember
The description of your invention needs to be detailed, beginning with an overview and then peeling back the layers of the invention and describing each in great detail. Patent drawings can be extremely helpful in this process. A good set of drawings accompanying your written description will help the reader of the application to grasp the concept of your invention much more thoroughly.
Here is an example to prove the importance of patent drawings art:
Description of the Related Art of a Washing Machine
In general, a washing machine is an apparatus that uses water, detergent, and mechanical action to wash clothing, bed linen, etc. (hereinafter referred to as ‘laundry’) by performing wash, rinse, and spin cycles to remove contaminants from the laundry.
Washing machines are categorized into agitator type, pulsator type, and drum type washing machines.
An agitator type washing machine performs washing by left and right rotation of a washing agitator projecting upward in the center of a wash tub, a pulsator type washing machine performs washing by employing friction between whirling water and laundry through rotating left and right a round plate shaped rotating wing formed on the bottom of a wash tub, and a drum type washing machine performs washing by rotating a drum filled with water, detergent, and laundry.
A drum washing machine has a tub installed inside a cabinet defining the exterior of the washing machine to hold wash water, a drum disposed inside the tub to hold laundry, a motor installed at the rear side of the tub to rotate the drum, and a driveshaft installed on the motor, passed through the tub, and connected to the reverse side of the drum. A lifter is installed within the drum to lift laundry when the drum rotates.
Various efforts are being made to improve the washing performance of such drum washing machines.
It becomes difficult to understand the complete mechanism of washing machine through description only. And. That is where the patent drawings art come into picture.
Pictorial representations of washing machine make it easier to understand both the washing machine and the process of washing.
Click HERE to read the complete description and to see all the patent drawings of a washing machine.
Is Patent Drawings Art Always Required?
Patent Drawings are not always required. The time when patent drawings are not required is when the invention is related to a chemical compound or composition, or if there is a method or process being claimed. However, virtually every method or process can be depicted in one way, shape or form by illustration. Therefore, it is suggested for inventors to attach illustrations even when they are claiming a method.
Some Other Examples of Patent Drawings Art
- Traffic Signal
Garrett Morgan, inventor of the stop light, worked during an era called the “golden age” of patent drawings. He sold his design of a stop light to General Electric. The drawings are carefully constructed mixed views, mixing exploded 3-D views with shaded elevations and eager eye for composition.
- Toy Building Block
The real Lego patent specified every possible dimension on its normal plastic bricks. But the drawings themselves are humble lessons in simplicity. Elegant, convoluted call-out lines snake away from the Lego, pointing out details and measurements.
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