PATENT DRAWINGS TOOLBOX

Submit the Best Patent Drawings Possible!

Patent drawing services

DOWNLOADS

USPTO Patent Drawing Guide

International Patent Organizations

USPTO Margin Guidelines

Letter : 8.5in X 11in / A4 : 21cm X 29.7cm

Patents Ink, Patents Ink Patent Drawings Illustrations, Patents Ink Patents, Patents Ink Drawings, Patents Ink Drawing, Patents Ink Drafting, Patents Ink Legal Patents, Patents Ink Patent Illustrations, Patent Drawings, Patent Drafting, Patent Drawings Law Firms & Corporations, Patent Drawing Services, Patent Illustration Services, Patent Illustrations, Patents Near Me, Patents For Lawyers, Patent Drawing Services For Lawyers, Patent Drawing Services For Corporations, Legal Patent Drawings, Legal Patent Drawing Services, Legal Patent Illustration Services, Patent Drawing Illustration Service, Patent Drawing Experts, Patent Drawing/Illustrator Services including, Utility Patents, Legal Patents, Corporate Patents, Patent Drawing/Drafting Services.

Top 2.5 cm

Bottom 1.0 cm

Left 2.5 cm

Right 1.5 cm

Patent Drawing Checklist

Get Your Free USPTO Margin Templates & Patent Drawing Checklist Now!

Patents Ink Patent Drawing Services and Patent Illustration Services.

We provide outstanding patent drawing services and patent illustration services to Law Firms and Corporations.

Our patent drawing services and patent illustration services are the best in the country.

Design Patent Drawings - Utility patent drawings - Graphs / Charts Patent Drawings - Software patent drawings - Electrical Patent Drawings - Software patent drawings - Chemical patent drawings. Every type of patent drawings imaginable.

If you are looking for patent drawing service - patent illustration service, you have come to the right place. 

Patents Ink Patent Drawing Services and Patent Illustration Services.

We provide outstanding patent drawing services and patent illustration services to Law Firms and Corporations.

Our patent drawing services and patent illustration services are the best in the country.

Design Patent Drawings - Utility patent drawings - Graphs / Charts Patent Drawings - Software patent drawings - Electrical Patent Drawings - Software patent drawings - Chemical patent drawings. Every type of patent drawings imaginable.

If you are looking for patent drawing service - patent illustration service, you have come to the right place. 

In the United States, the applicant for a patent is required by law to furnish a patent drawing of the invention whenever the nature of the case requires a drawing to understand the invention. This patent drawing must be filed with the application. This includes practically all inventions except compositions of matter or processes, but a drawing may also be useful in the case of many processes.

 

The patent drawing must show every feature of the invention specified in the claims, and is required by the U.S. patent office rules to be in a particular form. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) specifies the size of the sheet on which the drawing is made, the type of paper, the margins, and other details relating to the making of the drawing. The reason for specifying the standards in detail is that the patent drawings are printed and published in a uniform style when the patent issues, and the drawings must also be such that they can be readily understood by persons using the patent descriptions.

No names or other identification are permitted within the “sight” of the drawing, and applicants are expected to use the space above and between the hole locations to identify each sheet of drawings. This identification may consist of the attorney's name and docket number or the inventor's name and application number and may include the sheet number and the total number of sheets filed (for example, “sheet 2 of 4”). The following rule, reproduced from title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, relates to the standards for drawings.

 

HISTORY OF PATENT DRAWINGS

From 1790 to 1880 in the US, patent models were required. A patent model was a scratch-built miniature model no larger than 12" by 12" by 12", approximately 30 cm by 30 cm by 30 cm, that showed how an invention works. Some inventors still willingly submitted models at the turn of the twentieth century. In some cases, an inventor may still want to present a "working model" as an evidence to prove actual reduction to practice in an interference proceeding. In some jurisdictions patent models stayed an aid to demonstrate the operation of the invention. In applications involving genetics, samples of genetic material or DNA sequences may be required.

The United States patent law was revised in 1793. It stated that the Commissioner of the USPTO could ask for additional information, drawings, or diagrams if the description is not clear. By then, the rate of patent grants had grown to about 20 per year and the time burden on the Secretary of State was considered to be too burdensome. Patent applications were no longer examined. Patents were granted simply by submitting a written description of an invention, a model of the invention, if appropriate, and paying a fee of $30 then, and now $1000 in 2006 US dollars.

 

Drawings and photographs

In utility and design patent applications, drawings can be in black ink or color. Black and white drawings are normally required. On rare occasions, color drawings may be necessary as the only practical medium by which to disclose the subject matter sought to be patented in a utility or design patent application or the subject matter of a statutory invention registration.

Black and white photographs are not ordinarily permitted in utility and design patent applications, unless this is the only practicable medium for illustrating the claimed invention. For example, photographs of electrophoresis gels, blots, autoradiographs, cell cultures, histological tissue cross sections, animals, plants, in vivo imaging, etc. Color photographs can be accepted in utility and design patent applications if the conditions for accepting color drawings and black and white photographs have been satisfied.

Features

Patent drawing features can contain the following features:

Identification of drawings: includes the title of the invention, inventor's name, and application number.. etc.

Graphic forms in drawings. Chemical or mathematical formulaetables, and waveforms may be submitted as drawings and are subject to the same requirements as drawings. Each chemical or mathematical formula must be labeled as a separate figure, using brackets when necessary, to show that information is properly integrated.

Type of paper: generally flexible, strong, white, smooth, matte (non-shiny), and durable.

Size of paper: Must be the same size DIN size A4, (8​1⁄2 by 11 inches).

Views. The drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention. The views may be plan, elevation, section, or perspective views.

Arrangement of views: All views on the same sheet in the same direction.

Front page view

Scale: large enough to show the mechanism

Shading: aids in understanding the invention used to indicate the surface or shape of spherical, cylindrical, and conical elements of an object.

Symbols: Graphical drawing symbols may be used for conventional elements when appropriate.

Legends: should contain as few words as possible.

Numbers, letters, and reference characters.

Lead lines: between the reference characters and the details referred to, and

Arrows: at the ends of lines, provided that their meaning is cleared.

International drawing formats: Format requirements differ by country where the patent is being filed. Check local patent offices for format requirements.

The patent drawing can further contain a numbering of sheets of drawings, numbering of views, copyright notice, security markings, corrections (durable and permanent), no holes, and a type of drawing indication.

Views

The views in the drawing may be plan, elevation, section, or perspective views:

Exploded views: views with the separated parts embraced by a bracket, to show the relationship or order of assembly of various parts are permissible.

Partial views: a view of a large machine or device in its entirety may be broken into partial views on a single sheet, or extended over several sheets if there is no loss in facility of understanding the view.

Sectional views: The plane upon which a sectional view is taken should be indicated on the view from which the section is cut by a broken line.

Alternate position: A moved position may be shown by a broken line superimposed upon a suitable view if this can be done without crowding; otherwise, a separate view must be used for this purpose, and

Modified forms. Modified forms of construction must be shown in separate views.

 

1.84 Standards for patent drawings.

  • (a) Patent drawings. There are two acceptable categories for presenting patent drawings in utility and design patent applications.

    • (1) Black ink. Black and white patent drawings are normally required. India ink, or its equivalent that secures solid black lines, must be used for patent drawings; or

    • (2) Color. Color patent drawings are permitted in design applications. Where a design application contains color patent drawings, the application must include the number of sets of color patent drawings required by paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section and the specification must contain the reference required by paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section. On rare occasions, color patent drawings may be necessary as the only practical medium by which to disclose the subject matter sought to be patented in a utility patent application. The color patent drawings must be of sufficient quality such that all details in the patent drawings are reproducible in black and white in the printed patent. Color patent drawings are not permitted in international applications (see PCT Rule 11.13). The Office will accept color patent drawings in utility patent applications only after granting a petition filed under this paragraph explaining why the color patent drawings are necessary. Any such petition must include the following:

      • (i) The fee set forth in § 1.17(h) ;

      • (ii) One (1) set of color patent drawings if submitted via the Office electronic filing system or three (3) sets of color patent drawings if not submitted via the Office electronic filing system; and

      • (iii) An amendment to the specification to insert (unless the specification contains or has been previously amended to contain) the following language as the first paragraph of the brief description of the patent drawings:

The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee.

  • (b) Photographs.

    • (1) Black and white. Photographs, including photocopies of photographs, are not ordinarily permitted in utility and design patent applications. The Office will accept photographs in utility and design patent applications, however, if photographs are the only practicable medium for illustrating the claimed invention. For example, photographs or photomicrographs of: electrophoresis gels, blots ( e.g., immunological, western, Southern, and northern), autoradiographs, cell cultures (stained and unstained), histological tissue cross sections (stained and unstained), animals, plants, in vivo imaging, thin layer chromatography plates, crystalline structures, and, in a design patent application, ornamental effects, are acceptable. If the subject matter of the application admits of illustration by a drawing, the examiner may require a drawing in place of the photograph. The photographs must be of sufficient quality so that all details in the photographs are reproducible in the printed patent.

    • (2) Color photographs. Color photographs will be accepted in utility and design patent applications if the conditions for accepting color patent drawings and black and white photographs have been satisfied. See paragraphs (a)(2) and (b)(1) of this section.

  • (c) Identification of patent drawings. Identifying indicia should be provided, and if provided, should include the title of the invention, inventor’s name, and application number, or docket number (if any) if an application number has not been assigned to the application. If this information is provided, it must be placed on the front of each sheet within the top margin. Each drawing sheet submitted after the filing date of an application must be identified as either "Replacement Sheet" or "New Sheet" pursuant to § 1.121(d) . If a marked-up copy of any amended drawing figure including annotations indicating the changes made is filed, such marked-up copy must be clearly labeled as "Annotated Sheet" pursuant to § 1.121(d)(1) .

  • (d) Graphic forms in patent drawings. Chemical or mathematical formulae, tables, and waveforms may be submitted as patent drawings, and are subject to the same requirements as patent drawings. Each chemical or mathematical formula must be labeled as a separate figure, using brackets when necessary, to show that information is properly integrated. Each group of waveforms must be presented as a single figure, using a common vertical axis with time extending along the horizontal axis. Each individual waveform discussed in the specification must be identified with a separate letter designation adjacent to the vertical axis.

  • (e) Type of paper. Patent drawings submitted to the Office must be made on paper which is flexible, strong, white, smooth, non-shiny, and durable. All sheets must be reasonably free from cracks, creases, and folds. Only one side of the sheet may be used for the drawing. Each sheet must be reasonably free from erasures and must be free from alterations, overwritings, and interlineations. Photographs must be developed on paper meeting the sheet-size requirements of paragraph (f) of this section and the margin requirements of paragraph (g) of this section. See paragraph (b) of this section for other requirements for photographs.

  • (f) Size of paper. All drawing sheets in an application must be the same size. One of the shorter sides of the sheet is regarded as its top. The size of the sheets on which patent drawings are made must be:

    • (1) 21.0 cm. by 29.7 cm. (DIN size A4), or

    • (2) 21.6 cm. by 27.9 cm. (8 1/2 by 11 inches).

  • (g) Margins. The sheets must not contain frames around the sight ( i.e., the usable surface), but should have scan target points ( i.e., cross-hairs) printed on two catercorner margin corners. Each sheet must include a top margin of at least 2.5 cm. (1 inch), a left side margin of at least 2.5 cm. (1 inch), a right side margin of at least 1.5 cm. (5/8 inch), and a bottom margin of at least 1.0 cm. (3/8 inch), thereby leaving a sight no greater than 17.0 cm. by 26.2 cm. on 21.0 cm. by 29.7 cm. (DIN size A4) drawing sheets, and a sight no greater than 17.6 cm. by 24.4 cm. (6 15/16 by 9 5/8 inches) on 21.6 cm. by 27.9 cm. (8 1/2 by 11 inch) drawing sheets.

  • (h) Views. The patent drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention. The views may be plan, elevation, section, or perspective views. Detail views of portions of elements, on a larger scale if necessary, may also be used. All views of the drawing must be grouped together and arranged on the sheet(s) without wasting space, preferably in an upright position, clearly separated from one another, and must not be included in the sheets containing the specifications, claims, or abstract. Views must not be connected by projection lines and must not contain center lines. Waveforms of electrical signals may be connected by dashed lines to show the relative timing of the waveforms.

    • (1) Exploded views. Exploded views, with the separated parts embraced by a bracket, to show the relationship or order of assembly of various parts are permissible. When an exploded view is shown in a figure which is on the same sheet as another figure, the exploded view should be placed in brackets.

    • (2) Partial views. When necessary, a view of a large machine or device in its entirety may be broken into partial views on a single sheet, or extended over several sheets if there is no loss in facility of understanding the view. Partial views drawn on separate sheets must always be capable of being linked edge to edge so that no partial view contains parts of another partial view. A smaller scale view should be included showing the whole formed by the partial views and indicating the positions of the parts shown. When a portion of a view is enlarged for magnification purposes, the view and the enlarged view must each be labeled as separate views.

      • (i) Where views on two or more sheets form, in effect, a single complete view, the views on the several sheets must be so arranged that the complete figure can be assembled without concealing any part of any of the views appearing on the various sheets.

      • (ii) A very long view may be divided into several parts placed one above the other on a single sheet. However, the relationship between the different parts must be clear and unambiguous.

    • (3) Sectional views. The plane upon which a sectional view is taken should be indicated on the view from which the section is cut by a broken line. The ends of the broken line should be designated by Arabic or Roman numerals corresponding to the view number of the sectional view, and should have arrows to indicate the direction of sight. Hatching must be used to indicate section portions of an object, and must be made by regularly spaced oblique parallel lines spaced sufficiently apart to enable the lines to be distinguished without difficulty. Hatching should not impede the clear reading of the reference characters and lead lines. If it is not possible to place reference characters outside the hatched area, the hatching may be broken off wherever reference characters are inserted. Hatching must be at a substantial angle to the surrounding axes or principal lines, preferably 45°. A cross section must be set out and drawn to show all of the materials as they are shown in the view from which the cross section was taken. The parts in cross section must show proper material(s) by hatching with regularly spaced parallel oblique strokes, the space between strokes being chosen on the basis of the total area to be hatched. The various parts of a cross section of the same item should be hatched in the same manner and should accurately and graphically indicate the nature of the material(s) that is illustrated in cross section. The hatching of juxtaposed different elements must be angled in a different way. In the case of large areas, hatching may be confined to an edging drawn around the entire inside of the outline of the area to be hatched. Different types of hatching should have different conventional meanings as regards the nature of a material seen in cross section.

    • (4) Alternate position. A moved position may be shown by a broken line superimposed upon a suitable view if this can be done without crowding; otherwise, a separate view must be used for this purpose.

    • (5) Modified forms. Modified forms of construction must be shown in separate views.

  • (i) Arrangement of views . One view must not be placed upon another or within the outline of another. All views on the same sheet should stand in the same direction and, if possible, stand so that they can be read with the sheet held in an upright position. If views wider than the width of the sheet are necessary for the clearest illustration of the invention, the sheet may be turned on its side so that the top of the sheet, with the appropriate top margin to be used as the heading space, is on the right-hand side. Words must appear in a horizontal, left-to-right fashion when the page is either upright or turned so that the top becomes the right side, except for graphs utilizing standard scientific convention to denote the axis of abscissas (of X) and the axis of ordinates (of Y).

  • (j) Front page view. The drawing must contain as many views as necessary to show the invention. One of the views should be suitable for inclusion on the front page of the patent application publication and patent as the illustration of the invention. Views must not be connected by projection lines and must not contain center lines. Applicant may suggest a single view (by figure number) for inclusion on the front page of the patent application publication and patent.

  • (k) Scale. The scale to which a drawing is made must be large enough to show the mechanism without crowding when the drawing is reduced in size to two-thirds in reproduction. Indications such as "actual size" or "scale 1/2" on the patent drawings are not permitted since these lose their meaning with reproduction in a different format.

  • (l) Character of lines, numbers, and letters. All patent drawings must be made by a process which will give them satisfactory reproduction characteristics. Every line, number, and letter must be durable, clean, black (except for color patent drawings), sufficiently dense and dark, and uniformly thick and well-defined. The weight of all lines and letters must be heavy enough to permit adequate reproduction. This requirement applies to all lines however fine, to shading, and to lines representing cut surfaces in sectional views. Lines and strokes of different thicknesses may be used in the same drawing where different thicknesses have a different meaning.

  • (m) Shading. The use of shading in views is encouraged if it aids in understanding the invention and if it does not reduce legibility. Shading is used to indicate the surface or shape of spherical, cylindrical, and conical elements of an object. Flat parts may also be lightly shaded. Such shading is preferred in the case of parts shown in perspective, but not for cross sections. See paragraph (h)(3) of this section. Spaced lines for shading are preferred. These lines must be thin, as few in number as practicable, and they must contrast with the rest of the patent drawings. As a substitute for shading, heavy lines on the shade side of objects can be used except where they superimpose on each other or obscure reference characters. Light should come from the upper left corner at an angle of 45°. Surface delineations should preferably be shown by proper shading. Solid black shading areas are not permitted, except when used to represent bar graphs or color.

  • (n) Symbols. Graphical drawing symbols may be used for conventional elements when appropriate. The elements for which such symbols and labeled representations are used must be adequately identified in the specification. Known devices should be illustrated by symbols which have a universally recognized conventional meaning and are generally accepted in the art. Other symbols which are not universally recognized may be used, subject to approval by the Office, if they are not likely to be confused with existing conventional symbols, and if they are readily identifiable.

  • (o) Legends. Suitable descriptive legends may be used subject to approval by the Office, or may be required by the examiner where necessary for understanding of the drawing. They should contain as few words as possible.

  • (p) Numbers, letters, and reference characters.

    • (1) Reference characters (numerals are preferred), sheet numbers, and view numbers must be plain and legible, and must not be used in association with brackets or inverted commas, or enclosed within outlines, e.g., encircled. They must be oriented in the same direction as the view so as to avoid having to rotate the sheet. Reference characters should be arranged to follow the profile of the object depicted.

    • (2) The English alphabet must be used for letters, except where another alphabet is customarily used, such as the Greek alphabet to indicate angles, wavelengths, and mathematical formulas.

    • (3) Numbers, letters, and reference characters must measure at least .32 cm. (1/8 inch) in height. They should not be placed in the drawing so as to interfere with its comprehension. Therefore, they should not cross or mingle with the lines. They should not be placed upon hatched or shaded surfaces. When necessary, such as indicating a surface or cross section, a reference character may be underlined and a blank space may be left in the hatching or shading where the character occurs so that it appears distinct.

    • (4) The same part of an invention appearing in more than one view of the drawing must always be designated by the same reference character, and the same reference character must never be used to designate different parts.

    • (5) Reference characters not mentioned in the description shall not appear in the patent drawings. Reference characters mentioned in the description must appear in the patent drawings.

  • (q) Lead lines. Lead lines are those lines between the reference characters and the details referred to. Such lines may be straight or curved and should be as short as possible. They must originate in the immediate proximity of the reference character and extend to the feature indicated. Lead lines must not cross each other. Lead lines are required for each reference character except for those which indicate the surface or cross section on which they are placed. Such a reference character must be underlined to make it clear that a lead line has not been left out by mistake. Lead lines must be executed in the same way as lines in the drawing. See paragraph (l) of this section.

  • (r) Arrows. Arrows may be used at the ends of the lines, provided that their meaning is clear, as follows:

    • (1) On a lead line, a freestanding arrow to indicate the entire section towards which it points;

    • (2) On a lead line, an arrow touching a line to indicate the surface shown by the line looking along the direction of the arrow; or

    • (3) To show the direction of movement.

  • (s) Copyright or Mask Work Notice. A copyright or mask work notice may appear in the drawing, but must be placed within the sight of the drawing immediately below the figure representing the copyright or mask work material and be limited to letters having a print size of .32 cm. to .64 cm. (1/8 to 1/4 inches) high. The content of the notice must be limited to only those elements provided for by law. For example, "©1983 John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 401) and "*M* John Doe" (17 U.S.C. 909) would be properly limited and, under current statutes, legally sufficient notices of copyright and mask work, respectively. Inclusion of a copyright or mask work notice will be permitted only if the authorization language set forth in § 1.71(e) is included at the beginning (preferably as the first paragraph) of the specification.

  • (t) Numbering of sheets of patent drawings. The sheets of patent drawings should be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals, starting with 1, within the sight as defined in paragraph (g) of this section. These numbers, if present, must be placed in the middle of the top of the sheet, but not in the margin. The numbers can be placed on the right-hand side if the drawing extends too close to the middle of the top edge of the usable surface. The drawing sheet numbering must be clear and larger than the numbers used as reference characters to avoid confusion. The number of each sheet should be shown by two Arabic numerals placed on either side of an oblique line, with the first being the sheet number and the second being the total number of sheets of patent drawings, with no other marking.

  • (u) Numbering of views.

    • (1) The different views must be numbered in consecutive Arabic numerals, starting with 1, independent of the numbering of the sheets and, if possible, in the order in which they appear on the drawing sheet(s). Partial views intended to form one complete view, on one or several sheets, must be identified by the same number followed by a capital letter. View numbers must be preceded by the abbreviation "FIG." Where only a single view is used in an application to illustrate the claimed invention, it must not be numbered and the abbreviation "FIG." must not appear.

    • (2) Numbers and letters identifying the views must be simple and clear and must not be used in association with brackets, circles, or inverted commas. The view numbers must be larger than the numbers used for reference characters.

  • (v) Security markings . Authorized security markings may be placed on the patent drawings provided they are outside the sight, preferably centered in the top margin.

  • (w) Corrections. Any corrections on patent drawings submitted to the Office must be durable and permanent.

  • (x) Holes. No holes should be made by applicant in the drawing sheets.

 

DESIGN PATENT PATENT DRAWINGS

A design consists of the visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article of manufacture. Since a design is manifested in appearance, the subject matter of a design patent application may relate to the configuration or shape of an article, to the surface ornamentation applied to an article, or to the combination of configuration and surface ornamentation. A design for surface ornamentation is inseparable from the article to which it is applied and cannot exist alone. It must be a definite pattern of surface ornamentation, applied to an article of manufacture.

 

In discharging its patent-related duties, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) examines applications and grants patents on inventions when applicants are entitled to them. The patent law provides for the granting of design patents to any person who has invented any new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. A design patent protects only the appearance of the article and not structural or utilitarian features.

 

Types of Designs and Modified Forms

An ornamental design may be embodied in an entire article or only a portion of an article, or may be ornamentation applied to an article. If a design is directed to just surface ornamentation, it must be shown applied to an article in the patent drawings, and the article must be shown in broken lines, as it forms no part of the claimed design.

A design patent application may only have a single claim (37 CFR § 1.153). Designs that are independent and distinct must be filed in separate applications since they cannot be supported by a single claim. Designs are independent if there is no apparent relationship between two or more articles. For example, a pair of eyeglasses and a door handle are independent articles and must be claimed in separate applications. Designs are considered distinct if they have different shapes and appearances even though they are related articles. For example, two vases having different surface ornamentation creating distinct appearances must be claimed in separate applications. However, modified forms, or embodiments of a single design concept may be filed in one application. For example, vases with only minimal configuration differences may be considered a single design concept and both embodiments may be included in a single application.

 

The Difference Between Design and Utility Patents

In general terms, a "utility patent" protects the way an article is used and works (35 U.S.C. 101), while a "design patent" protects the way an article looks (35 U.S.C. 171). Both design and utility patents may be obtained on an article if invention resides both in its utility and ornamental appearance. While utility and design patents afford legally separate protection, the utility and ornamentality of an article are not easily separable. Articles of manufacture may possess both functional and ornamental characteristics.

 

Improper Subject Matter for Design Patents

A design for an article of manufacture that is dictated primarily by the function of the article lacks ornamentality and is not proper statutory subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 171. Specifically, if at the time the design was created, there was no unique or distinctive shape or appearance to the article not dictated by the function that it performs, the design lacks ornamentality and is not proper subject matter. In addition, 35 U.S.C. 171 requires that a design to be patentable must be "original." Clearly a design that simulates a well-known or naturally occurring object or person is not original as required by the statute. Furthermore, subject matter that could be considered offensive to any race, religion, sex, ethnic group, or nationality is not proper subject matter for a design patent application (35 U.S.C. 171 and 37 CFR § 1.3).

 

Elements of a Design Patent Application

The elements of a design patent application should include the following:

(1) Preamble, stating name of the applicant, title of the design, and a brief description of the nature and intended use of the article in which the design is embodied;

(2) Cross-reference to related applications (unless included in the application data sheet).

(3) Statement regarding federally sponsored research or development.

(4) Description of the figure(s) of the drawing;

(5) Feature description;

(6) A single claim;

(7) Patent drawings or photographs;

(8) Executed oath or declaration.

 

Patent drawings or Black and White Photographs

The drawing disclosure is the most important element of the application. Every design patent application must include either a drawing or a black and white photograph of the claimed design. As the drawing or photograph constitutes the entire visual disclosure of the claim, it is of utmost importance that the drawing or photograph be clear and complete, that nothing regarding the design sought to be patented is left to conjecture. The design drawing or photograph must comply with the disclosure requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph. To meet the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112, the patent drawings or photographs must include a sufficient number of views to constitute a complete disclosure of the appearance of the design claimed.

 

Patent drawings are normally required to be in black ink on white paper. Black and white photographs, in lieu of patent drawings, are permitted subject to the requirements of 37 CFR §1.84(b)(1) and §1.152. Applicant should refer to these rules, included at the end of this guide. These rules set forth in detail the requirements for proper patent drawings in a design patent application.

 

Black and white photographs submitted on double weight photographic paper must have the drawing figure number entered on the face of the photograph. Photographs mounted on Bristol board may have the figure number shown in black ink on the Bristol board, proximate the corresponding photograph.

 

Black and white photographs and ink patent drawings must not be combined in a formal submission of the visual disclosure of the claimed design in one application. The introduction of both photographs and ink patent drawings in a design application would result in a high probability of inconsistencies between corresponding elements on the ink patent drawings as compared with the photographs. Photographs submitted in lieu of ink patent drawings must not disclose environmental structure but must be limited to the claimed design itself.

 

Color Patent drawings or Color Photographs

The Office will accept color patent drawings or photographs in design patent applications only after the granting of a petition filed under 37 CFR §1.84(a)(2), explaining why the color patent drawings or photographs are necessary. Any such petition must include the fee set forth in 37 CFR § 1.17(h), three sets of color patent drawings or photographs, and the specification must contain the following language before the description of the patent drawings:

"The patent or application file contains a least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee."

 

If color photographs are submitted as informal patent drawings and the applicant does not consider the color to be part of the claimed design, a disclaimer should be added to the specification as follows: "The color shown on the claimed design forms no part thereof." Color will be considered an integral part of the disclosed and claimed design in the absence of a disclaimer filed with the original application. A disclaimer may only be used when filing color photographs as informal patent drawings, as 37 CFR §1.152 requires that the disclosure in formal photographs be limited to the design for the article claimed.

 

The Views

The patent drawings or photographs should contain a sufficient number of views to completely disclose the appearance of the claimed design, i.e., front, rear, right and left sides, top and bottom. While not required, it is suggested that perspective views be submitted to clearly show the appearance and shape of three-dimensional designs. If a perspective view is submitted, the surfaces shown would normally not be required to be illustrated in other views if these surfaces are clearly understood and fully disclosed in the perspective.

 

Views that are merely duplicates of other views of the design or that are merely flat and include no ornamentality may be omitted from the drawing if the specification makes this explicitly clear. For example, if the left and right sides of a design are identical or a mirror image, a view should be provided of one side and a statement made in the drawing description that the other side is identical or a mirror image. If the bottom of the design is flat, a view of the bottom may be omitted if the figure descriptions include a statement that the bottom is flat and unornamented. The term "unornamented" should not be used to describe visible surfaces that include structure that is clearly not flat. In some cases, the claim may be directed to an entire article, but because all sides of the article may not be visible during normal use, it is not necessary to disclose them. A sectional view which more clearly brings out elements of the design is permissible, however a sectional view presented to show functional features, or interior structure not forming part of the claimed design, is neither required nor permitted.

 

Surface Shading

 The drawing should be provided with appropriate surface shading which shows clearly the character and contour of all surfaces of any three-dimensional aspects of the design. Surface shading is also necessary to distinguish between any open and solid areas of the design. Solid black surface shading is not permitted except when used to represent the color black as well as color contrast. Lack of appropriate surface shading in the drawing as filed may render the shape and contour of the design nonenabling under 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph. Additionally, if the shape of the design is not evident from the disclosure as filed, addition of surface shading after filing may be viewed as new matter. New matter is anything that is added to, or from, the claim, patent drawings or specification, that was neither shown nor suggested in the original application (see 35 U.S.C. 132 and 37 CFR § 1.121, at the end of this guide).

 

Broken Lines

A broken line disclosure is understood to be for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of the claimed design. Structure that is not part of the claimed design, but is considered necessary to show the environment in which the design is used, may be represented in the drawing by broken lines. This includes any portion of an article in which the design is embodied or applied to that is not considered part of the claimed design. When the claim is directed to just surface ornamentation for an article, the article in which it is embodied must be shown in broken lines.

 

In general, when broken lines are used, they should not intrude upon or cross the showing of the claimed design and should not be of heavier weight than the lines used in depicting the claimed design. Where a broken line showing of environmental structure must necessarily cross or intrude upon the representation of the claimed design and obscures a clear understanding of the design, such an illustration should be included as a separate figure in addition to the other figures which fully disclose the subject matter of the design.

 

WIPO The Patent drawings [R-08.2017]

PCT Article 7

The Patent drawings

  • (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2)(ii), patent drawings shall be required when they are necessary for the understanding of the invention.

  • (2) Where, without being necessary for the understanding of the invention, the nature of the invention admits of illustration by patent drawings:

    • (i) the applicant may include such patent drawings in the international application when filed.

    • (ii) any designated Office may require that the applicant file such patent drawings with it within the prescribed time limit.

7.1 Flow Sheets and Diagrams

Flow sheets and diagrams are considered patent drawings.

7.2 Time Limit

The time limit referred to in Article 7(2)(ii) shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the case and shall, in no case, be shorter than two months from the date of the written invitation requiring the filing of patent drawings or additional patent drawings under the said provision.

PCT Rule 11

Physical Requirements of the International Application

11.5 Size of Sheets

The size of the sheets shall be A4 (29.7 cm x 21 cm). However, any receiving Office may accept international applications on sheets of other sizes provided that the record copy, as transmitted to the International Bureau, and, if the competent International Searching Authority so desires, the search copy, shall be of A4 size.

11.6 Margins

  • (c) On sheets containing patent drawings, the surface usable shall not exceed 26.2 cm x 17.0 cm. The sheets shall not contain frames around the usable or used surface. The minimum margins shall be as follows:

  • - top: 2.5 cm

  • - left side: 2.5 cm

  • - right side: 1.5 cm

  • - bottom: 1.0 cm

11.11 Words in Patent drawings

(a) The patent drawings shall not contain text matter, except a single word or words, when absolutely indispensable, such as "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 indispensable for understanding.

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

11.13 Special Requirements for Patent drawings

  • (a) Patent drawings shall be executed in durable, black, sufficiently dense and dark, uniformly thick and well-defined, lines and strokes without colorings.

  • (b) Cross-sections shall be indicated by oblique hatching which should not impede the clear reading of the reference signs and leading lines.

  • (c) The scale of the patent 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.

  • (d) When, in exceptional cases, the scale is given on a patent drawing, it shall be represented graphically.

  • (e) All numbers, letters and reference lines, appearing on the patent drawings, shall be simple and clear. Brackets, circles or inverted commas shall not be used in association with numbers and letters.

  • (f) All lines in the patent drawings shall, ordinarily, be drawn with the aid of drafting instruments.

  • (g) 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.

  • (h) The height of the numbers and letters shall not be less than 0.32 cm. For the lettering of patent drawings, the Latin and, where customary, the Greek alphabets shall be used.

  • (i) The same sheet of patent drawings may contain several figures. Where figures on two or more sheets 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.

  • (j) The different figures shall be arranged on a sheet or sheets without wasting space, preferably in an upright position, clearly separated from one another. Where the figures are not arranged in an upright position, they shall be presented sideways with the top of the figures at the left side of the sheet.

  • (k) The different figures shall be numbered in Arabic numerals consecutively and independently of the numbering of the sheets.

  • (l) Reference signs not mentioned in the description shall not appear in the patent drawings, and vice versa.

  • (m) The same features, when denoted by reference signs, shall, throughout the international application, be denoted by the same signs.

  • (n) If the patent drawings contain a large number of reference signs, it is strongly recommended to attach a separate sheet listing all reference signs and the features denoted by them.

37 CFR 1.437 The patent drawings.

  • (a) Patent drawings are required when they are necessary for the understanding of the invention (PCT Art. 7).

  • (b) The physical requirements for patent drawings are set forth in PCT Rule 11 and shall be adhered to.

The international application must contain patent drawings when they are necessary for the understanding of the invention. Moreover where, without patent drawings being actually necessary for the understanding of the invention, its nature admits of illustration by patent drawings, the applicant may include such patent drawings and any designated Office may require the applicant to file such patent drawings during the national phase. Flow sheets and diagrams are considered patent drawings.

Patent drawings must be presented on one or more separate sheets. They may not be included in the description, the claims or the abstract. They may not contain text matter, except a single word or words when absolutely indispensable. Note that if the patent drawings contain text matter not in English but in a language accepted under PCT Rule 12.1(a) by the International Bureau as a Receiving Office, the international application will be transmitted to the International Bureau for processing in its capacity as a Receiving Office. See 37 CFR 1.412(c)(6)(ii). If the patent drawings contain text matter not in a language accepted under PCT Rule 12.1(a) by the International Bureau as a Receiving Office, the application will be denied an international filing date.

All lines in the patent drawings must, ordinarily, be drawn with the aid of a drafting instrument and must be executed in black, uniformly thick and well-defined lines. Color patent drawings are not acceptable. PCT Rules 11.10 to 11.13 contain detailed requirements as to further physical requirements of patent drawings. Patent drawings newly executed according to national standards may not be required during the national phase if the patent drawings filed with the international application comply with PCT Rule 11. The examiner may require new patent drawings where the patent drawings which were accepted during the international phase did not comply with PCT Rule 11. A file reference may be indicated in the upper left corner on each sheet of the patent drawings.

All of the figures constituting the patent drawings must be grouped together on a sheet or sheets without waste of space, preferably in an upright position and clearly separated from each other. Where the patent drawings cannot be presented satisfactorily in an upright position, they may be placed sideways, with the tops of the patent drawings on the left-hand side of the sheet.

The usable surface of sheets (which must be of A4 size) must not exceed 26.2 cm x 17.0 cm. The sheets must not contain frames around the usable surface. The minimum margins which must be observed are: top and left side: 2.5 cm; right side: 1.5 cm; bottom: 1.0 cm.

All sheets of patent drawings must be numbered in the center of either the top or the bottom of each sheet but not in the margin in numbers larger than those used as reference signs in order to avoid confusion with the latter. For patent drawings, a separate series of page numbers is to be used. The number of each sheet of the patent drawings must consist of two Arabic numerals separated by an oblique stroke, the first being the sheet number and the second being the total number of sheets of patent drawings. For example, "2/5" would be used for the second sheet of patent drawings where there are five in all.

Different figures on the sheets of patent drawings must be numbered in Arabic numerals consecutively and independently of the numbering of the sheets and, if possible, in the order in which they appear. This numbering should be preceded by the expression "Fig."

In situations where one or more sheets are added, each sheet shall be identified by the number of the preceding sheet followed by a slant and then by another Arabic numeral such that the additional sheets are numbered consecutively, starting always with number one for the first sheet added after an unchanged sheet (e.g., 10/1, 15/1, 15/2, 15/3, etc.). See Administrative Instructions Section 311.

The PCT makes no provision for photographs. Nevertheless, they are allowed by the International Bureau where it is impossible to present in a patent drawing what is to be shown (for instance, crystalline structures). Where, exceptionally, photographs are submitted, they must be on sheets of A4 size, they must be black and white, and they must respect the minimum margins and admit of direct reproduction. Color photographs are not accepted.

The procedure for rectification of obvious mistakes in the patent drawings is explained in MPEP § 1836. The omission of an entire sheet of patent drawings cannot be rectified without affecting the international filing date, except in applications filed on or after April 1, 2007, where, if the application, on its initial receipt date, contained a priority claim and a proper incorporation by reference statement, the original international filing date may be retained if the submitted correction was completely contained in the earlier application. See PCT Rules 4.18 and 20.6. Rectifications of obvious mistakes are not considered to be amendments.

The patent drawings can be amended during the international phase only if the applicant files a Demand for international preliminary examination. The patent drawings can also be amended during the national phase. The amendment shall not go beyond the disclosure in the international application as filed. See PCT Article 34(2)(b).

If patent drawings are referred to in an international application and are not found in the search copy file, the examiner should refer the application to a Quality Assurance Specialist in his or her Technology Center or a PCT Special Program Examiner. See Administrative Instructions Section 310.