Patent Drawings as a Marketing Tooladmin
We usually think of patent drawings as having only a technical purpose: to help obtain a patent, and in the event of litigation, to help defend the patent.
Patent drawings can also be a valuable marketing tool – and in some instances, they may be an unintentional and inadvertent marketing tool.
Once a patent application is published, the drawings are revealed to the public. A secret new project is no longer secret if a patent application has been published revealing the design.
Patent holders should be prepared for this. The publication of a patent application with its drawings can serve a valuable marketing purpose – it can start to generate some “buzz” about a coming new product well in advance of the actual product launch, and if it’s picked up and found by the trade press, the publicity can be free.
Patent attorneys should make sure clients understand that upon publication of the application, the drawings will be there for the public to see. Especially for design patents, this means the look of the product will be revealed.
Patent attorneys can also use patent drawings for marketing purposes – displaying drawings from patents they worked on can be a way to show people browsing their website the kinds of products and technologies in their expertise.
Here are some recent examples where the public first learned details of a corporation’s upcoming new product for patent drawings:
Car and Bike magazine revealed details of the Harley-Davidson 338 motorcycle, dubbed “the baby Harley” because of its small size, after spotting a Chinese design patent filing.
Automobile Magazine revealed details of McLaren’s new gasoline-electric hybrid; they said, “it may have inadvertently revealed the vehicle in its entirety in a recent patent application.” Or maybe that wasn’t inadvertent – the company released a picture of a car in camouflage not long before the patent application was published. Perhaps the patent drawings are part of the marketing buildup around an exciting new product.
Apple Insider reported that future Apple phones may have a sliding display based on seeing the feature in a patent application:
Patent drawings are an essential feature of almost any patent application. They can make or break the validity of a patent should there be any litigation after a patent is granted. And beyond that, patent drawings can be a valuable marketing tool. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you with your patent drawing needs.