Patent drawings are visual representation (such as, illustration of embodiments, chemical equations, stages, flow charts, etc.) that enhances the readability of the patent application. They are included in patent application according to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) rules and regulations for patent drawings. However, there are some basic concepts which can be applied to enhance the quality of patent drawings.
How to improve quality of patent drawings?
The following section includes a small list of actions and procedures that will definitely improve the quality of patent drawings. They are:
- Follow the USPTO guidelines: Enforcing USPTO’s comprehensive rules regarding patent drawings, strictly at the time of drafting a patent application, will remove a number of errors before filing the application. When rules are applied, the drawings will add significant quality to an application. It is not always necessary that only the applications that follow all the rules will definitely pass the patent examination. But, on searching the USPTO database, one can find a number of patent applications that have passed the examinations even though they didn’t follow the patent drawing rules properly. Well, at the same time there are most cases where applications with complete drawings have passed well in the examination. Looking at the brighter side, there is no loss and definite profit by following the USPTO rules, so one must always follow as much as possible.
- Include clear and accurate images: Simple, clear, and accurate images always gives you priority in cases of litigation. In chances of negotiation and settlement, a well-defined patent application always favors you for the best negotiation. Even any third party will think twice while copying an idea from an unambiguous and well-described patent application.
- USPTO can update its database for precision of drawings: Some efforts can even be made from the USPTO, to update its database to store better quality of digital outputs of patent drawings. At the time of submission, USPTO clearly states that images must be so clear that if they get reproduced they don’t lose its details. But, once they get submitted, they are stored in databases where they get scanned to lower resolutions, reducing their quality. Sometimes, reduction makes images blur, making it difficult to search for.
- USPTO can start accepting only formal drawings: USPTO is currently accepting informal drawings at the time of first filing of an application, such as rough sketches, photographs, etc. If the USPTO lays down a rule that only formal drawings will be accepted at the time of application filing, then it will definitely improve the quality of overall patent application at the very first phase. Also, examiners can also be relieved by checking the drawings at once and understanding the invention in a better way. This will even accelerate the examination process, ultimately accelerating the overall patent prosecution process and saving a lot of time and money.
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