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WIPO Patent Drawing Rules for PCT Applications

When it comes to filing an international patent application in multiple provinces, patent drawings play an integral role while preparing the application. Since WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is the governing authority for all the international patent applications; it becomes integral to learn the WIPO patent drawing rules.

If you are looking for patent filing in the US, read the patent drawing rules followed in the USA here – All You Need to Know about US Patent Drawings Rules

The WIPO Patent Drawing Rules Structure

We will be talking about all the WIPO patent drawing rules one by one, highlighting the important points of consideration while filing a patent application.

Let’s begin with the ‘materials’ that are required to produce a WIPO standard patent drawing.

Materials Required

This section comprises the physical details and requirements for patent drawings which includes:

  • Sheets material
  • Sheet size and
  • The numbering of sheets
  1. Sheets Material: The material should invariably be flexible, strong, white, smooth, non-shiny and durable. Also, use a separate sheet for patent drawings; commence all the elements of the patent application on a different sheet.
  2. Sheet Size: Use A4 size (29.7 cm X 21 cm) sheets. However, the size may differ from one receiving office to another.
  3. The numbering of Sheets: all the sheets of the international application shall be numbered in Arabic numerals in consecutive fashion. Also, centre-align the numbers at the top or bottom of the sheet but outside the margin.

Margins: talking about the sheets containing drawings, the maximum usable surface is 26.2 cm X 17.0 cm. The sheets strictly shall not contain frames in the usable surface. The minimum margin shall be:

  • Top: 2.5 cm
  • Left: 2.5 cm
  • Right side: 1.5 cm
  • Bottom: 1 cm.

Furthermore, the margins of the international applications submitted must be completely blank. But, at the left-hand corner of the top margin provide an indication of the applicant’s file reference within 1.5 cm of the top left of the sheet.

Also, read Thomas Edison Drawing of 3 Life-Changing Inventions

 Words in Drawings

(a)  Except for a few indispensable words the drawings shall not contain words or any form of text matter. Words like “water,” “steam,” “open,” “closed,” “section on AB,” and, in the case of electric circuits and block schematic or flow sheet diagrams, a few short catchwords are important for understanding.

(b)  Words used shall be so placed that, if translated, they may be passed over without interfering with any lines of the drawings.

Also read: Major USPTO Design Drawings Requirements


Keep the sheets free from erasures, overwriting, interlineations and other sorts of alterations. This will make your application more presentable, authentic and free from jeopardy.

Special Requirements of WIPO Patent Drawing Rules

Drawing Lines: 

These are durable, black, sufficiently dense and dark, uniformly thick and well-defined, lines and strokes without colourings. Also, all lines in the drawings shall, ordinarily, be drawn with the aid of drafting instruments.


Indicate by oblique hatching. But, do not impede the clear reading of the reference signs and leading lines.


The scale of the drawings and the distinctness of their graphical execution shall be such that a photographic reproduction with a linear reduction in size to two-thirds would enable all details to be distinguished without difficulty. But, in exceptional cases, if the scale is there on a drawing, represent them graphically.

Numbers and Reference lines:

Create simple and clear numbers, letters and reference lines. Also, do not use brackets, circles or inverted commas in association with numbers and letters.

Proper proportion:

Each element of each figure shall be in proper proportion to each of the other elements in the figure, except where the use of a different proportion is indispensable for the clarity of the figure.

 Size of numbers:

The minimum height of the numbers and letters is 0.32 cm. Also, use Latin for the lettering of drawings, and, where customary, the Greek alphabets shall be used.


A sheet might contain several figures. But, where there are figures on two or more sheets that form in effect a single complete figure, the figures on the several sheets shall be so arranged that the complete figure can be assembled without concealing any part of any of the figures appearing on the various sheets.

No Waste Space:

arrange the different figures,preferably in an upright position, clearly separated from one another without wasting any extra space. But, where the figures are not arranged in an upright position, present them in a sideways manner with the top of the figures on the left side of the sheet.

Numbering of Figures:

Number the figures in Arabic numerals consecutively and independently, just the way the you numbered the sheets.

Reference signs:

represent only those reference signs in the description that appear in the drawings, and vice versa. But, if you denote certain features with reference signs then throughout the international application, denote those figures by the same signs.

Multiple Reference Signs:

If the drawings contain a large number of reference signs, then attach a separate sheet listing all reference signs and the features denoted by them.

Also Read: How to Obtain Utility Patents?


The above mentioned WIPO patent drawing rules are strict to be followed for easy and timely approval of your patent application at the international receiving offices (patent offices). Non-Compliance to the rules creates an impression of a non-authentic and jeopardized patent application. This, in turn, leads to the rejection of the patent application and your time, efforts and money all go to waste. Also, it is much significant to proofread the patent draft and the drawings once prepared before submitting to the PTO.

Get your Patent Drawings Ready with ‘PatSketch’

Now you understand how integral it is to follow the patent drawing rules when you are about to file a patent application. Experts at PatSketch strictly take care of the WIPO patent drawing rules and guidelines. We understand the value of precisely created patent drawings and provide the best in class results for our clients. No matter how complex are the patent (utility or design) drawings you are looking for, our draftsmen are well equipped to handle each of those with 100% compliance to patent office rules. For getting your patent drawings created from PatSketch visit our service page.

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