When is a Patent Drawing Needed?


Don’t know why, but for some reasons there are many inventors who are willing to spend weeks, even months, explaining their work in text but are reluctant to create simple drawings that can often provide a much better explanation. In fact, they argue, if it is necessary to submit a patent drawing at all along with an invention and they also ask ‘when is a patent drawing needed?’

This article is aimed at addressing these two important questions that people come across often. Speaking principally, a patent drawing is not necessarily needed and patent offices like USPTO have not made it mandatory either. However, one thing that is for sure is that you don’t want your application to be rejected and you must be willing to do everything that can reduce the chances of rejection of your application.

A patent illustration is all about ensuring this. So, even though, a patent drawing is not mandatory, including the same can be of immense use and thus every application should include a drawing that can let examiners understand each of your claims.

So we now have an understanding that there should be a patent drawing included in your patent application but the next important question that we need to address is When is a Patent Drawing Needed? The rest of this article will focus on when a patent drawing is needed.

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Conditions when Patent Drawing is Needed

Condition # 1: When you need clarity: Whenever you need to make things clear, a patent drawing is needed. For example let’s say you have a design of a cell phone with many features that you want to be patented. How many words it would take to describe each and every feature of the cell phone, how they are structurally and functionally linked with each other? Would it not be easier to understand if a drawing were included? This is certainly a scenario where we should include a drawing.

Condition # 2: When you need to reduce complexity: Suppose you have created a mechanical pocket watch. The working of this mechanical pocket watch is very complex because there are many levers, gears, springs and escapements that are used. It is really tough to describe just in words, how each of these parts interact. However, including a drawing for your invention in association with the text will make it easier for anyone to understand. Thus this is another circumstance when we need drawing for patents.

Condition # 3: When you are considering design patents: When you are considering design patent you need to provide adequate information to ensure they understand the function and uniqueness of the invention which can often be done best with patent illustrations or drawings.

As a conclusion, we can say that patent drawings add a lot in explaining the claims of an application and applicants should include a drawing irrespective of the fact that whether it is a utility patent drawing or design patent drawing because we don’t want our patent application to be rejected.

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