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Patent Drawings Guidelines: Rule 11

Patent Drawings

Patent Drawings are considered as the most important part of the patent application when it comes to convincing the patent examiner. They are the 2D depiction of the real inventions and therefore it becomes easier for the patent examiner to understand the invention more closely.

There are a lot of patents applied at the patent office and there must be symmetry in all the applications so that there is no room left for rejection. So, they should be made in a very specific way, assisted by a professional illustrator. A Professional illustrator creates these drawings abiding by the laws of the PCT, which is very important. The rules and guidelines of the PCT helps to keep the patent drawings clean and clear for the patent examiner.

WIPO has set such guidelines for patent drawings. They are covered under rule 11, Physical Requirement of International Applications. It is important to follow these rules while making patent drawings for the invention.

Also read: Patent Diagrams: Role in Patent Application

Rule 11 of WIPO for Patent Drawings

Documents Required

  • All the required documents along with the application is to be submitted as one copy.
  • All the documents referred to in the checklist paragraph 3 such as description of the invention, claims of the invention, copy of general power of attorney, patent drawings, etc. are to be submitted while filing the application.

Sheet Directions

  • The documents are to be submitted in form of photographs, electrostatic processes, microfilming, and offset.
  • Clean sheets are to be used which are free of any cracks and folds, and only one side of the sheet should be used.
  • The sheet material should be of good quality and the printing should be durable, white, smooth and non-shiny.  
  • Each element that the applicant wants to write in the application should be writen on a different sheet.
  • Each sheet of the patent drawing should be easily accessible so that the examiner can easily scroll through different sheets, attaching and detaching them whenever needed.
  • The size of the sheet should be A4-sized with dimensions 29.7 cm x 21 cm, the size can be different only in case of exception and there shall be a statement of the exception stated on an A4-sized sheet.

Also read: How to Make Perfect Patent Drawings: Everything You Need to Know

Margin Directions

The sheet containing drawings should not be more than dimension 26.2 cm x 17 cm and for that, we keep a margin. A margin of 2.5 cm at the top, 1 cm at the bottom, 2.5 cm on the left side, 2 cm on the right side.

Numbering of the sheet

Each sheet of the drawing should be numbered in consecutive Arabic numbers on the right side of the left margin.

Also read: 3 Important Elements of a Good Patent Drawing

Patent Drawings Requirements

  • The drawings can be hand-drawn including the chemical formulas and graphic symbols.
  • The claims and the description should not contain drawings while chemical formulas, invention; virtual, or any graphical representation can be drawn.
  • A figure cannot contain more than one or two words. These words are inscribed on the drawings only to make things clear and only if necessary. Unnecessary words on drawings are not allowed.
  • The drawings should be authentic and should be free from overwriting and alterations.
  • The patent drawings are drawn without the use of any colors as they are drawn with black color which should be intense and thick.
  • The lines in the drawings should be drawn only using appropriate instruments like ruler scale or other necessary equipment.
  • The letter on the drawings should not be less than 0.32 cm, so that they are clearly visible and also each element of the figure should be presented in a clear way and in a proper proportion.
  • The figures should be drawn in an upright position and a single sheet can contain various figures without wasting the spaces for drawing each figure on different sheets.
  • The reference signs can be denoted on different sheets when there are various references for the drawings.
  • All the figures in the drawings should be consecutively numbered in Arabic numerals.

Also read: Role of Engineering Drawings in Patent Application

These requirements are necessary for preparing patent drawings that are error-free and can be submitted at the patent office. All the patent applications should have these virtual representations to avoid facing any office action and to get an easy patent grant for their invention. This will not only reduce the cost of multiple responses to office actions, but will also save the time of the applicant.


This article contains information about the Rule 11 of WIPO for patent drawings. There are various requirements and rules for adding the patent drawings in a patent application. It contains all the documents required to file an application, directions on how and what type of sheets should be used in the application, necessary margins to be drawn on the drawing sheets, and all the necessary requirements for preparing the drawings.

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