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Patent Drawings Rules: Part I

Patent Drawings  Rules

“Every practice has a set of rules which governs it.” 

~ Fiel Valdez                                               

The quote mentioned above is accurate to its simplicity. Rules and regulations are essential for society as it serves as a norm of conduct for citizens. Also, it provides proper guidelines and order upon the behavior for all citizens to sustain the equity. Without law, there would be chaos, and it would be survival of the fittest and every man for himself. Similarly, Patent drawings rules deal with intellectual properties drawings rules that every patent drafter must follow. USPTO has laid down a set of guidelines for patent drawing rules.

There are two different categories used for drawings representation, namely utility & design patent applications. Majorly, black and white ink are the major players, when it comes to color. Otherwise, patent illustrators can also use India ink or something similar to it which resembles solid black lines, for making drawings.

Understanding the technicalities and difficulty level, of patent drawings, we are presenting a series of articles (Patent Drawings Rules PART-I, II, & III) that will not let the below-mentioned quote, ruin your patent drawings.

“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”

~By Alexander Pope


In the case of color drawings, one must be aware that color drawings are only used to disclose the subject matter of the invention that needs to be protected in design and utility patent application. Moreover, the quality of color drawings must be good. So that when we reproduce, all details will be apparent black and white format during the time of print. In International applications under patent treaty rule PCT 11.13, or in an application, or copy thereof which gets submitted under the electronic filing system (for utility patent application), color drawings are not allowed.

 In case, if you want to submit color patent drawings, then you need to get petition grants filed under this paragraph describing the need for color drawings in your application.

Patent Drawings Rules: What Photographs To Add?

  • Black and White

Photographs and photocopies of photos are not allowed in design and utility patent application. However, they can be accepted if pictures are the only way of illustrating the claimed invention. An applicant must ensure that the photo quality is sufficiently good to be considered and such that if a printed patent extracted, it reproduces of the best quality.

  • Colored

Colored photographs will be acceptable in design and utility patent application (if and when required).

Patent Drawings Rules: Drawings Identification

Drawing identification includes identification of indicia is provided; it even includes the invention title, the name of the inventor, and application number or docket number for records.  Everything must be on the front of each sheet and within the top margins.

Patent Drawings Rules: Drawings Graphical Representation

In case, your invention includes chemical or mathematical formulae, tables, and waveforms then, relevant patent drawings. Drafters need to label each mathematical or chemical formula as a separate figure along with brackets to depict complete information.

Moreover, waveform’s each group should be present as a single figure, wherein a common vertical axis with time extends along the horizontal axis.

Are you worried that your patent drawings might not be that much presentable? If yes, then we got you sorted. Read: 

Create Impressive Patent Drawings: Tips & Tricks

Patent Drawings Rules: Are All Types Of Papers, Permissible?

Paper Type

Final drawings (before submitting at the patent office) must be clear, sharp, white, smooth, non-shiny and of durable paper. All the used sheets must be cracks, crease and fold free. For drawings, use only one side of the layer. Moreover, they must be free from alterations, overwriting and interlineations to present them accurately.

Sheet Size

Drawing sheets attached with the patent application must be of the same size. Sheet size required for use must be of the following sizes:

  1. 0 cm. By 29.7 cm. (DIN size A4), or
  2. 21.6 cm. by 27.9 cm. (8 1/2 by 11 inches)

Margin Requirements

The sheet must not include frames around the sight; instead, it must have target points for scans printed on two catercorner margin corners.

Each sheet must include:

  • a top margin of at least 2.5 cm. (1 inch)
  • a left side margin of at least 2.5 cm. (1 inch)
  • a right side margin of at least 1.5 cm. (5/8 inch)
  • moreover, a bottom margin of at least 1.0 cm. (3/8 inch)
  • Thereby leaving a sight no more significant than 17.0 cm. by 26.2 cm. on 21.0 cm. By 29.7 cm. (DIN size A4) Drawing sheets
  • and a view no more significant than 17.6 cm. By 24.4 cm. (6 15/16 by 9 5/8 inches) On 21.6 cm. By 27.9 cm. (8 1/2 by 11 inch) drawing sheets

Stay tuned for upcoming PART II & PART III of Patent Drawings Rules.

We at, PatSketch, provide services for utility, design, trademark, & engineering drawings. Also, we are a key player in the IP industry, for patentability searches & design patent searches.


For more details, directly contact us.

Other interesting insights:

Drawings, Sketching, Designing, And Drafting: Are They All Same?

Patent Drawings Resources

Here you can Download our All free Resources:

Patent Drawing Samples, Guides, E-books, Case-studies, Whitepapers, Approaches, Methodologies, Sample Reports, etc.

Click here to Download

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