Patent drawings are an essential aspect of filing successful patent applications. These drawings act as a visual accompaniment to your written documentation, conveying information about your invention. When produced correctly, patent drawings increase the probability of your application being approved, as they supply more information than you can usually provide in a written application.
However, if you’re not careful, patent drawings can prove to be a stumbling block for your application.
1. Detailed Drawings Can Save Your Entire Application
You may be tempted to submit a vague rendering of your invention, but this could impede your application. Vague drawings are just as bad as vague descriptions in patent applications. Remember, the goal of a patent is to establish originality and you need to use every tool at your disposal to portray your invention as different to anything that has come before.
You’re also aiming to establish your own prior art which will be protected by law, and that needs to be as specific as possible.
Patents are not accepted if they don’t fill the criteria of originality. They also won’t be accepted if what you have is a concept that isn’t backed up by drawings showing exactly how your invention will work. Drawings take your patent from concept to hard fact, thereby strengthening your application.
So, when you’re considering your patent drawings, think about including several different views, including cross-sections, and highlighting any modifications and variations which could be made.
It’s important to remember, however, that straying too far from the specifics of your invention could lead to your application being refused.
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2. The Quality of Patent Drawings is Crucial to Success
Patent drawings must follow a strict set of rules. If they don’t, they’ll be rejected, and this could jeopardise your entire application. There are rules about margins, ink, paper size, and type. All these rules may seen arcane, but you can’t ignore them (see our post on “Complying with Patent Drawing Rules” for more information). In addition, professional drawings will help your application make a good impression on the examiner.
It’s unlikely you’d submit a written patent application that was misspelled or badly structured. You’d be certain to submit the best application you could, giving it the best chance of success. Therefore, don’t take any chances with your drawings either. Quality drawings will make or break your application: if a drawing looks perfunctory and adds nothing to the overall application, it won’t help your application succeed.
3. Remember to Spend Appropriate Time on Patent Drawings
Don’t make the mistake of relegating patent drawings to the end of your patent application process. To make your application count, they must be an integral part of the application, and they must be professionally produced. As an inventor, it’s unlikely that you’re going to have the necessary skills to produce effective patent drawings that highlight the uniqueness of your invention.
It’s well worth spending the time and money on first rate patent drawings.