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Patent Illustrations: Understanding from Scratch

Patent illustrations can be of immense use when it comes to presenting a patent draft convincingly. Not only it makes your idea clearer to the respective patent office but also helps put our point firmly in the Court during litigation. Patent illustrations also called as patent drawings are though not mandatory as per statutory rules of various countries, still it is recommended as it can expedite the overall patent granting process.

Unlike other kinds of drawing that we did in our school days, here, there are plenty of rules and regulations those should be followed by patent illustrators. Patent offices like the U.S. PTOs are very choosy and selective about the rules and they expect every patent illustrator to abide these patent drawing rules.

Patent Drawing from Scratch

This article is an attempt to describe patent illustration from scratch, like what it is, various rules of patent illustration, how to create patent drawing, and many other things that can be of immense use to patent illustrators.

Before we dive into other aspects of patent illustration, let’s understand what a patent drawing is and why is it needed at all in the first place.

What patent illustrations are?

Patent illustrations or patent drawings are the graphical and visual representations of an invention or idea. Though, as per statutory rules, it is not mandatory still including illustrations for patents could be of immense use.

Why patent drawings should be included in patent drafts

Despite the fact that a patent illustration is not mandatory it needs to be included and there are myriad of reasons for it, some of them are mentioned below:

  • Drawing makes invention clearer to understand
  • Help attracting attention of the Prospective Licensee
  • Helps inventor put their point firmly in the Court
  • Expedite the overall patent granting process


Patent drawing rules for inventors:

 Size of the Sheet: Important patent offices like U.S. PTO want draft persons to use sheets those are 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. Anything other than this will be rejected outright by the patent office.

Mentioning features of the invention clearly: Irrespective of the fact whether an invention is a device, process or a design, it is important to mentions every feature of the invention clearly. Each feature of the invention should be documented properly so that examiners can understand the features without putting much stress on their eyebrows.

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 that examiners can have a clear understanding of the invention.

Maintaining basic level of Neatness: Patent offices want illustrations to maintain certain level of neatness failing which can put your drawing at risk. Each drawing should be free from strikethroughs, over writings and alterations.

Maintaining the Readability: 

Maintaining readability is another important criterion that should be followed while creating patent related drawings. Draft-persons should keep spacing within words, between words and between lines in such a way that the drawing is visually readable.

 Metric System should be used: Patent office like U.S. PTO want draft persons to use metric system as their standard measurement system.  Though USPTO doesn’t forbid using English Engineering Units still they prefer metric system and thus we need to follow this rule as well.

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

All we can say is that creating patent illustrations for inventions requires well-acquaintances with patent regulatory norms, in-depth understanding of patent drawing rules and many more. Care should be taken to follow these patent drawing rules other-wise we may risk rejection of our patent drawings.

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Patent Drawings Resources

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

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